Coco Gauff rallies to win, claim first major at U.S. Open
Posted on: 10 Sep, 2023 at 01:51 AM
Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Coco Gauff rallied from a set down to defeat Aryna Sabalenka and claim her first grand slam title at the U.S. Open in New York on Saturday.
Gauff defeated Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and six minutes. She has her first major title at 19 years old.
Gauff also becomes the first American woman to win the U.S. Open since Sloane Stephens in 2017. She's the youngest American woman to win it since then-17-year-old Serena Williams in 1999.
And she won it after losing to Iga Swiatek in the French Open final earlier this year.
"I feel like I'm a little bit in shock in this moment," Gauff said afterwards. "That French Open loss was a heartbreak for me, but I realize that God puts you through tribulations and trials, and that makes this moment even sweeter than I could've imagined.
"I just knew that if I didn't give it my all, I had no shot at winning."
Sabalenka, the 2023 Australian Open champ, lost despite recording more winners (25-13), more aces (4-2) and more first-serve winners (65 percent-62 percent). However, her undoing was 46 unforced errors while Gauff finishes with just 19.
"She was moving just unbelievable today," Sabalenka said. "But then the second set I start probably overthinking, and because of that I start kind of like losing my power. Then she start moving better. I start missing a lot of easy shots."
Regardless, Sabalenka will be the new World No. 1 women's player when the new rankings come out Monday. Gauff will rise to a career-high No. 3 in the world.
"Thank you to the people who didn't believe in me," Gauff said. "To those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it."
Gauff converted 5 of 9 break-point opportunities.
Sabalenka made the semifinals of every grand slam in 2023, going 1-1 in the finals.
--Field Level Media