In a stunning comeback at the US Open, American teenager Coco Gauff secured her first Grand Slam title by defeating Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus. Gauff, the sixth seed, overcame a challenging start to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a thrilling match that lasted 2 hours and 6 minutes.
This victory marked a remarkable turnaround in Gauff’s season, following her earlier disappointment with a first-round exit at Wimbledon in July. She bounced back impressively, claiming titles in Washington and Cincinnati before achieving the pinnacle of her career at the US Open.
In her post-match elation, Gauff expressed, “It means so much to me. I feel like I’m a little bit in shock in this moment.” She also reflected on her heartbreaking loss in her first Grand Slam final at the French Open last year, making this win even sweeter.
Sabalenka, who had been the second seed and was set to become the world number one, attributed her defeat to self-inflicted errors, admitting to times when she was playing “me against me.” She acknowledged Gauff’s exceptional movement on the court but mentioned that overthinking had affected her game.
The match began with Sabalenka taking an early lead, breaking Gauff’s serve in the opening game. Sabalenka held her advantage to go 2-0 ahead, but Gauff fought back to level the score at 2-2. However, Sabalenka regained her lead by breaking Gauff once more and ultimately claimed the first set.
The second set saw a resurgence from Gauff, who reduced her unforced errors and improved her serve. Sabalenka, on the other hand, showed signs of nervousness as tension mounted. Gauff secured the only break of the set and leveled the match.
In the final set, Gauff maintained her momentum, securing an early break and holding her serve consistently. Sabalenka, facing increasing pressure, struggled to regain composure. Gauff’s dominance continued, and she eventually secured her first Grand Slam title.
This victory marks a significant milestone in Gauff’s tennis career and solidifies her status as one of the sport’s rising stars.