American teenager Coco Gauff staged a comeback to capture her maiden US Open title, displaying a determined performance to overcome Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus. Gauff, aged 19, prevailed on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court with a score of 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a match that lasted 2 hours and 6 minutes, marking a remarkable transformation in her season.
As the sixth seed hailing from Florida, Gauff entered the final as the underdog against the hard-hitting second seed Sabalenka, who is poised to claim the world number one ranking in the upcoming week. Despite both players making a multitude of mistakes in an error-laden final witnessed by a star-studded record audience of 28,143, Gauff maintained her composure in crucial moments, securing a well-deserved victory.
This win marked a tremendous comeback for Gauff, who had experienced heartbreak with a first-round exit at Wimbledon in July. Nevertheless, she rebounded to win titles in Washington and Cincinnati, ultimately clinching the most significant victory of her career after a disappointing loss in her initial Grand Slam final at the French Open last year.
An elated Gauff expressed her feelings, stating, “It means so much to me. I feel like I’m a little bit in shock in this moment. That French Open loss (last year) was a heartbreak for me. This makes this moment even sweeter than I could imagine.”
In addition to her triumph, Gauff, the third American teenager to win the US Open, following in the footsteps of Tracy Austin and Serena Williams, took the opportunity to acknowledge those who had doubted her talent, humorously saying, “Honestly thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me. To those who thought they were putting water on my fire, they were putting gas on my fire, and I’m burning so bright right now.”
Meanwhile, Sabalenka attributed her defeat to self-inflicted errors, noting that at times, she felt like she was competing against herself.