Coco Gauff Makes History: Youngest U.S. Open Champion Since Serena Williams in 1999

Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Coco Gauff has etched her name in tennis history as she clinched the U.S. Open singles title, becoming the youngest player since Serena Williams’ historic victory in 1999 when she was just 17 years old. Gauff’s remarkable triumph came after an intense three-set battle against Aryna Sabalenka, with a final score of 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Amidst the crowd’s roar and the flashbulbs of countless cameras, Gauff stood on the iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium, her trophy shining brightly, and her victory speech filled with a sense of readiness for the fame that will undoubtedly come her way. “I’m ready,” Gauff proclaimed, her youthful confidence evident. “I embrace it. I know how to keep my peace but also embrace all of this around me.”

As Gauff accepted her winner’s check of $3 million, she took a moment to graciously thank tennis legend Billie Jean King, who stood alongside her on the stage. The gesture highlighted Gauff’s perspective, humor, and charm that has set the stage for American sports’ next global superstar. “She is so humble,” said Pere Riba, Gauff’s coach, in the post-match interview. “Her work ethic is so strong, so professional, and she has very good manners. Put all of that together, and she will only get better. She can handle it all.”

Gauff has long been earmarked as one of tennis’ next superstars. Her maturity on and off the court, intelligence, and ability to articulate herself have endeared her to the American public and the global tennis community.

Even prominent figures in the political arena couldn’t contain their excitement. President Joe Biden took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to congratulate the young champion. “Congrats to U.S. Open Champion Coco Gauff,” he tweeted. “You electrified Arthur Ashe stadium and the entire nation – the first of more to come and proof that anything is possible if you never give up and always believe. You’ve made America so proud.”

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, who cheered Gauff during her first-round match against Laura Siegmund, also extended congratulations. “We couldn’t be prouder of you on and off the court – and we know the best is yet to come,” Barack Obama wrote. The former First Lady paid tribute to Gauff’s “hard work and grit” and shared a cherished photo of their meeting after that memorable first-round match.

Former President Bill Clinton joined the chorus of praise, describing Gauff’s victory as “incredible” and expressing optimism for the future of American tennis. Serena Williams, whom Gauff credits for inspiring her dreams, shared her excitement on Instagram, writing, “Ahhhhh!!!! Amazing!!!!”

Gauff reflected proudly on her victory. “My dad took me to this tournament, sitting right there, watching Venus and Serena compete, so it’s really incredible to be here on this stage,” she stated.

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