Coco Gauff, 19, won her first Grand Slam title, defeating 2nd seed Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to win the U.S. Open Women’s Final at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens, NY on Saturday, Sept. 9.
Coco became one of a few Black women to win the U.S. Open and the youngest player to reach the US Open Final since Serena Williams won her first Grand Slam title at age 17.
Coco collected $3 million with her U.S. Open win. So far, she has won a total of over $11.1 million in her career.
Coco thanked her parents and coaches, and she thanked tennis legend Billie Jean King (center) for fighting for equality in women’s tennis.
Coco also took time to thank her haters. “Thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me … To those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it.”
“Thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me … To those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it.” – Coco Gauff pic.twitter.com/XApgRrQBPQ
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 9, 2023
“[Serena and Venus Williams] are the reason why I have this trophy,” Coco said during a press conference after the match. “They allowed me to believe in this dream.”
Aryana Sabalenka, of Belarus, reportedly destroyed her tennis racket in the locker room after the match. Aryana, 25, won the singles title at the 2023 Australian Open.
Coco, who was born in Atlanta, began playing tennis at age six. She was inspired by her idol, Serena.
After moving with her parents to their native Delray Beach, Florida at age 7, Coco started taking tennis seriously. Her parents, Candi and Corey Gauff, quit their jobs to help train and home school Coco alongside her 2 younger siblings.
After training with a top tennis coach in France, Coco became the No. 1 junior in the world, winning the junior 2018 French Open singles title.
At age 10, she was the youngest player to win the USTA Clay Court National 12-and-under title.
Gauff made her WTA Tour debut in March 2019 at the Miami Open at age 15. She became the youngest player in the tournament’s history to qualify for the main draw.
Coco became an overnight sensation at Wimbledon in 2019 when she beat former world No. 1 Venus Williams in the opening round, before exiting herself in the fourth round.
Watch U.S. Open Women’s Finals highlights below.