On September 9th, Coco Gauff won her first Grand Slam Title at just 19 years old. She secured her victory in a thrilling match against Aryna Sabalenka with a final score of 2-6, 6-3, and 6-2 at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Remarkably, the teen became the second youngest person to claim this prestigious title, with Serena Williams being the first.
Youngest Teen to Win Following Serena Williams
In a significant historical context, Williams won her inaugral Grand Slam title at the 1999 U.S. Open when she was just 17 years old. Gauff’s triumph also makes her the first American teenager to win the women’s tournament since her idol, Serena Williams. The teen was overflowing with emotions as she lay on her back on the court, sobbing in disbelief. She then took the microphone from reporters to address any detractors.
Photo Cred: ABC7 New York
Gauff Uses Haters as Motivators
“Thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me. Like a month ago, I won a 500 and people said I would stop at that. Two weeks ago I won a 1,000 title and people were saying that was the biggest it was going to get. So three weeks later, I’m here with this trophy right now,” said Gauff.
Photo Cred: The Guardian
“I tried my best to carry this with grace, and I’ve been doing my best, so honestly, to those who thought they were putting water in my fire: You were really adding gas to it and now it’s really burning so bright right now.”
Gauff Wins First Grand Slam
In the first set of the match, the young champion struggled to find her rhythm against the No. 2 seed, Aryna Sabalenka. However, as the match unfolded, the teen’s confidence gradually grew with each serve she delivered. She seized control in the second set. Entering the third set, the momentum was firmly in Gauff’s favor, and she harnessed the fans’ praises as motivation to take home the crown. With each point she claimed, her screams and first pumps only became louder and more animated. In the end, she triumphed over the reigning Australian Open champion.
Photo Cred: Sky Sports
A-Listers in Attendance
The 2023 U.S. Open was a star-studded event that attracted numerous celebrities to New York. Notable attendees included Kevin Durant, Nicole Kidman, Spike Lee, Diane Keaton, and Laverne Cox, among others. Following her momentous win, Gauff received congratulatory messages from many of these A-list personalities. Among the well-wishers were President Joe Biden, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and Former President Barack Obama. Former President Obama shared a heartwarming picture of himself, Gauff, and Michelle on his Twitter account, which was accompanied by a touching message.
Photo Cred: Just Jared Photo Cred: YouTube
“Congratulations to the US Open champion, @CocoGauff! We couldn’t be prouder of you on and off the court – and we know the best is yet to come.”