The stadium exploded with cheers and jubilation as Coco Gauff defeated Aryna Sabalenka in three sets to become the US Open champion. Fans leaped to their feet as Gauff fell to the ground in victory.
Celebrations spread all over the United States as celebrities, fellow tennis players, and even former Presidents praised the 19-year-old sensation. Gauff’s journey began when she was just 15, defeating Venus Williams at Wimbledon, and now, she had fulfilled her potential by becoming the youngest American woman to win the US Open since Serena Williams in 1999.
In an interview with CNN’s Carolyn Manno, Gauff admitted that the initial expectations had weighed heavily on her. “It affected me a lot,” she said. “But now, I’ve learned how to stay true to myself while also embracing the pressure. I used to try to ignore it, but now I’m embracing it, and I believe I still have a long way to go in my development as a player. Today’s performance wasn’t my best, but it was enough for the moment.”
Gauff has always been seen as the future of tennis, not just for her skills on the court but also for her maturity, intelligence, and ability to express herself. The American public has embraced her wholeheartedly.
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President Joe Biden took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to congratulate her, saying, “Congrats to U.S. Open Champion Coco Gauff. You lit up Arthur Ashe Stadium and the entire nation. This is just the beginning, and it proves that anything is possible if you never give up and always believe. You’ve made America proud.”
Barack and Michelle Obama, who had supported Gauff from the stands during her first-round match, also extended their congratulations on X. Former President Obama expressed pride in her both on and off the court, while Michelle Obama commended her hard work and determination, sharing a photo of their meeting after the first-round match.
Bill Clinton added his congratulations, calling Gauff’s victory “incredible” and expressing optimism about the future of American tennis.
Serena Williams, who Gauff credited with inspiring her dreams, celebrated the victory on her Instagram story with an enthusiastic caption, “Ahhhhh!!!! Amazing!!!!”
Gauff shared her deep connection to the tournament, recounting how her dad had taken her to watch Venus and Serena compete, making her presence on that stage even more incredible.
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In the stands, stars like Nicole Kidman, Amanda Seyfried, Cara Delevingne, Ariana DeBose, and Diane Keaton watched the historic match. Gauff’s Instagram post about her victory was flooded with congratulatory comments from celebrities, including Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye, fellow tennis player Carlos Alcaraz, and Hollywood star Zendaya.
Close to home, Gauff revealed that her brother’s celebratory phone call was so loud that it hurt her ears, causing her to hang up. Her mom jumped with joy, and her dad, despite not being visible, couldn’t hide his tears of pride.
Reflecting on the moment, Gauff said, “When I hugged my dad, I couldn’t see him because he went straight for the embrace. I heard him crying, and I’ve never seen that man cry in my life, considering everything that’s happened. As for my mom, I knew she’d cry whether I won or lost. But honestly, the whole time, I kept thinking, ‘Is this really happening?'”