Winning your first Grand Slam tournament is in itself an unforgettable event. Doing it in your country adds a unique emotion. That's what American Coco Gauff, winner of the US Open, felt when she won the final on Saturday, September 9 in New York over Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in three sets: 2-6, 6-3 , 6-2.
Coco Gauff had played the final at Roland-Garros in 2022, but had never made it past the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows. At 19, she will be 3rd in the world on Monday, the best ranking of her career. Aryna Sabalenka, despite the defeat, will be world number 1.
The Belarusian had started this final perfectly by pounding her opponent with her devastating forehand. Despite Gauff's heroic defense, and unforced errors linked to his risky play, Sabalenka concluded the first set with a score of 6-2.
The Sabalenka machine goes wrong
The 24,000 spectators at the Arthur-Ashe court, including director Spike Lee, NBA player Kevin Durant, actresses Diane Keaton and Nicole Kidman, were a little groggy at the Belarusian's display of power.
But the machine then went haywire in the face of the resilience of the American who managed to break her opponent at 3-1 in the second set. A lead that she maintained until the end to win 6-3, taking advantage of her opponent's 16th unforced error of the set, and thus equalize at one set all.
In the last set, Sabalenka lost her footing by conceding her two service games. At 4-0, Coco Gauff only had to control a gentle end to the match. Sabalenka’s call to a doctor to have her inner left thigh massaged won’t change anything. After two hours of fighting, Coco Gauff was able to celebrate a magnificent success on a final winning point symbolizing her self-sacrifice.
" I am still shocked "
Corie − nicknamed “Coco” − Gauff is the youngest American to win the US Open since 1999 when her idol Serena Williams won, at almost 18, the first of her twenty-three Grand Slam titles, including six in Flushing Meadows.
“It means so much to me, I’m still in shock,” Coco Gauff explained on court just after her victory. My defeat [in the final] of Roland-Garros was hard to take, and that makes this moment even sweeter. »
The young Floridian ends with fireworks an American summer tour launched by a flamboyant month of August with two titles up for grabs: Washington and the WTA 1000 in Cincinnati, where she beat world number 1 Iga Swiatek in the semi-final .
And she will also be world number 1 in doubles, with her partner and compatriot Jessica Pegula after reaching the quarter-finals in New York.