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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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Coco Gauff wins U.S. Open

On September 11, 2023, Coco Gauff became the youngest woman to win the U.S. Open since Serena Williams in 1999. At just 19 years old, Gauff has won six WTA Tour singles titles, eight doubles titles and her latest title in the 2023 U.S. Open. Ever since her WTA Tour debut in March of 2019, Gauff has proven to be a driving force in the future of women’s tennis. 

Gauff competed against Aryna Sabalenka, the 25 year old Belarusian tennis player, currently ranked No. 1 in the world for women’s singles. Sabalenka is currently holding 19 career titles in total, one being a major singles title from the 2021 Australian Open. Additionally, she holds two major doubles titles at the 2019 U.S. Open and the 2021 Australian Open. Gauff has faced Sabalenka a total of five times in their careers. Prior to the U.S. Open finals, the two played during the 2023 Indian Wells quarterfinals. Sabalenka took the win by a 6-4, 6-0 sweep, maintaining her rank above underdog Gauff prior to their match up in the U.S. Open.

Gauff won the championship in the three sets, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. After making it to the 2021 U.S. Open women’s doubles final and the French Open women’s singles final in 2022, the new grand slam title highlighted Gauff’s career progress. Gauff told ABC News, “When I fell on the floor, it was just, I don’t know. It’s like, ‘Oh, it’s over.’ This whole struggle is over.” Feeling relieved from her hard earned win, Gauff could finally absorb the impact her performance had on the tennis community. 

Gauff had also won her first WTA 500 single’s title in the Washington Open that same year, along with her first WTA 1000 title at the Cincinnati Masters where she defeated world No.1 Iga Świątek in the semifinals and world No. 10 Karolina Muchova in the finals. Following the Cincinnati finals, Gauff was ranked No. 6 in the world. After her championship at the 2023 U.S. Open her ranking changed to No. 3, just one behind her opponent Sabalenka.

During an interview after the championship Gauff said, “Honestly, thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me. Like a month ago, I won a 500 title and people said I would stop at that. Two weeks ago, I won a 1000 title and people were saying that was the biggest I was going to get. So three weeks later, I’m here with this trophy right now. I tried my best to carry this with grace and I’ve been doing my best.”

After years of moving up in the rankings as one of the youngest female tennis players to date, Gauff has continued to prove her drive for the sport and her capability for success. Although she is only 19, Gauff has continued to add to her titles and improve her level of play, displaying that despite her past underdog status, Gauff is able to focus on her goals and personal growth.

“So honestly, to those who thought [they] were putting water on my fire, you’re really adding gas to it. And now I’m really burning so bright right now.”

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