Coco Gauff is officially an American Grand Slam champion – and we couldn’t be prouder!
On Saturday, the 19-year-old tennis star officially secured her first major women’s singles title at the 2023 U.S. Open. In winning the title, the teen defeated Belarus’ Aryna Sablenka in a three-set match. The victory makes Gauff the third American teenager to win and the youngest American to win since Serena Williams in 1999 – talk about Black girl magic!
Although the new champion’s win seemed unlikely after the first set, Gauff’s confidence never wavered and was evident throughout the match as she eventually overtook her opponent. The support from the New York City-based crowd also seemed to boost the teen’s confidence as they echoed chants of “Let’s go, Coco,” throughout the intense battle.
Coco Gauff won the US Open in epic fashion.
Match point pic.twitter.com/QMAwRod7B7
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2023
Gauff eventually won the match 2-6, 6-3 and 6-2. Upon realizing that she won, she was met with tears of joy and an explosion of applause from onlookers which included her proud parents and family. “I feel a little bit in shock at this moment,” Gauf explained during an interview after her win. “That French Open loss was a heartbreak for me, and that makes this moment even more sweeter than I could imagine.”
She also went on to thank her parents and share a heartfelt moment about her dad, “This is the first time I’ve ever seen my dad cry — he doesn’t want me to tell you that,” she joked.
Lastly, the tennis champ went on to thank those who doubted her, giving a special shout-out to “the people who didn’t believe in me.” “To those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it,” she boasted.
To conclude the special day, Gauff was presented a check for $3 million from Billie Jean King which just happens to be on the 50th anniversary of King’s successful fight for equal pay at the US Open for women. “Thank you, Billie, for fighting for this,” Gauff said of the honor.
It was a little more than four years ago when a 15-year-old Gauff beat Serena Williams at Wimbledon as the youngest player to have ever qualified for the famed tennis tournament in London. At the time, Gauff’s win gave her the distinction of being the youngest person to win a Wimbledon match since Jennifer Capriati in 1991.
Afterward, tennis legend Roger Federer offered a prophetic prediction of Gauff: “I think she’s obviously got a wonderful future ahead of herself.”
Congratulations to our new tennis champ, Coco Gauff!
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