Coco Gauff Wins US Open Championship for Her First Major Title
Photo By: Karsten Moran of the NY Times
By: MJ Scott
Coco Gauff originally took the tennis world by storm after defeating Venus Williams at Wimbledon when she was 16. After three years of tireless training and games Gauff was able to win her first Major tournament as she defeated Aryna Sabalenka in a comeback effort 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
After Wimbledon this summer, Coco Gauff hired a new team including a new coach, Brad Gilbert.
Gilbert has coached many great players including Andre Agassi, who won six of his eight grand slam titles under Gilbert. Since she made these changes, Gauff has had a 17-1 record including seven wins against players ranked in the top 20.
Gauff Is the youngest American (19) to win the US Open Final since 1999 when Serena Williams won the title at age 17.
Gauff’s opponent, Aryna Sabalenka came into the match with a 30-6 record since the first of May. Sabalenka’s aggressive style of play puts major pressure on all of her opponents. Sabalenka won the Australian Open earlier this year, her first major title. She was looking to win the second Major title of her career.
Sabalenka broke Coco’s serve three times in the first set of the match. Gauff used her athleticism well to cover the court, but Sabalenka’s aggressive shot selection was too much for Gauff. Sabalenka won the first set 6-2.
In the second set, Gauff was able to break Sabalenka in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Gauff forced a deuce, then was able to win the next two points with unforced errors by Sabalenka.
Both players held their serve which allowed Gauff to win the set 6-3.
Coco was able to break Sabalenka in the first game of the third and final set. She forced a deuce game and capitalized on another unforced error by Sabalenka. Coco held her serve then broke Sabalenka again.
Sabalenka’s forehand shot has been inconsistent all tournament and that carried over into this match. Coco was intentionally hitting the ball to her forehand side causing her to hit many unforced errors. Gauff broke Sabalenka again and she held serve to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
After holding her serve, Sabalenka called a medical timeout and got her left leg massaged.
After the timeout, Sabalenka broke Gauff then held her serve to make the score 5-2. Coco went up 40-0 in the next game. Gauff hit a backhand winner down the line and immediately fell to the ground in disbelief that she won the US Open.
Coco started to cry and thank the crowd for their support. Gauff was then escorted to her parents by a group of security guards. She hugged her dad and mom then went on to hug the rest of her team.
The crowd roared as they had the opportunity to watch an American win the US based tournament. This was Gauff’s 17th major appearance. The win moved her up to the third ranked player in the world.
Edited by: Kobe Scales, Sports Editor