Tennis Has a New Champion: 19-Year-Old American Coco Gauff Wins U.S. Open!

Dear Commons Community,

She outplayed Belarusian tennis star Aryna Sabalenka, the 25-year-old winner of the Australian Open singles final earlier this year, at yesterday’s final here in New York, scoring 2-6, 6-3 and 6-2.

Gauff credits Serena and her sister Venus Williams as her inspirations, once saying that they’re the “reason why I wanted to pick up a tennis racquet.”

This is the first time an American woman has won the U.S. Open in six years.

The 19-year-old made her way to the final after defeating Czech player Karolina Muchova, 27, on Thursday in a match delayed for nearly an hour by environmental protesters. Gauff acknowledged them in an interview later, saying she believes in climate change and “can’t really get upset” about the demonstration during her match.

Sabalenka beat out American player Madison Keys, 28, that same day. When asked about facing Gauff next, Sabalenka applauded her talents, saying: “She’s an unbelievable player. She’s playing really incredible tennis here at the U.S. Open.”

Gauff, known for her consistently powerful backhand swing, is no stranger to setting records, including becoming the youngest girls’ singles finalist in U.S. Open history when she was just 13 years old in 2017. A year later, she became the fifth-youngest girls’ singles champion in French Open history.

Gauff narrowly missed competing at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19, but says she has her heart set on winning gold at the Paris Games next year.

Former President Barack Obama congratulated Coco Gauff on her U.S. Open title Saturday, less than two weeks after attending her first comeback of the tournament.

After Gauff’s triumph, messages quickly poured onto the social media platform formerly known as Twitter in celebration of the 19-year-old American’s first Grand Slam title.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, were in Arthur Ashe Stadium on opening night, when Gauff rallied for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Laura Siegemund. They met with her after the match, which was followed by a tribute to Billie Jean King as part of a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Open becoming the first sporting event to offer equal prize money to female and male competitors.

Congratulations to America’s new champion!

Tony

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