A new era of tennis has begun, and it belongs to Coco Gauff.
Earlier this week, the US Open Women’s finals were set up as Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka and Gauff overcame the semifinals at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, NY.
Sabalenka will be ranked Number 1 in the world come Monday, and with a few years of maturity on her side, it was predicted it’d be a tough match for Gauff. Gauff struggled in the opening match as she fell victim to Sabalenka’s strength and quickness.
However, after some brief frustration, Gauff rose to the challenge about halfway through and came out on top, besting her 2-6,5-3, 6-2. As she won, she fell to the ground, likely partially due to emotions and exhaustion from the humid conditions.
A crowd that included Kevin Durant, Tom Brady, Rich Paul, and Maria Sharapova erupted with applause as Gauff and Sabalenka shook hands before the 19-year-old champion immediately ran up to the stands to celebrate her first grand slam title with her family.
After accepting her award at center court, the sixth-seeded American spoke about how emotional the achievement was for her father.
“Today was the first time I’ve ever seen my dad cry,” Gauff told ESPN after the victory. “He doesn’t want me to tell y’all that, but he got caught in 4K. He thinks he’s so hard, but you know he’s not … My dad took me to this tournament [years ago], sitting right there watching Venus and Serena [Williams] compete, so it’s really incredible to be on this stage.”
Gauff hoisted the trophy, and her win also made her the youngest American to win the US Open since Serena Williams did it in 1999 and the first woman to win the title in New York after dropping the first set in three matches en route since Williams, also did in 1999.
She spoke about the Williams sisters’ impact on her pursuit to dominate the world of tennis.
“I mean, they’re the reason why I have this trophy today, to be honest,” Gauff said. “They have allowed me to believe in this dream. Growing up, there weren’t too many Black tennis players dominating the sport. It was literally, at that time when I was younger; it was just them that I can remember.
See how social media is celebrating Coco Gauff’s win below:
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