Coco Gauff is on a quest for another championship title at the US Open, only this time she won't be playing as a junior and it won't be in doubles.
A lot has changed about Coco's game since she became the No. 1 junior in the world after winning the junior 2018 French Open singles title defeating Caty McNally. Even more has changed since these young ladies partnered up and went on a winning spree where they claimed their first Major junior title in doubles at the 2018 US Open.
Recognized as a game-changer, Coco is performing at her peak during this 2023 US Open. In fact, she's making history as the youngest American player, male or female, to reach the US Open semifinals, and now finals, since Serena Williams in 2001.
New and Improved Coco Gauff
Today, Coco is playing stronger, faster, and with more court confidence than ever before. Never mind the fact she's only 19. And don't pay any attention to how her ranking slipped from No. 4 last year to No. 6 this year. Because what she's doing in New York is simply undeniable. Coco is chasing down every ball, playing backboard defense, and constructing her points as outlined by her new coach Brad Gilbert. Gilbert joined the Gauff team in July as a consultant prior to the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. She wound up winning her first WTA 500 level in D.C. Two weeks later she claimed her biggest title to date in Cincinnati, a WTA Masters 1000.
Counting on the crowd for their immense support, Coco is commonly seen raising her hands on center court as if to summon visitors of Arthur Ashe Stadium to participate in the point. During her first-round match against Laura Siegemund of Germany, Coco summonsed spectators to lend her motivation after losing the first set 3-6. People from the Big Apple did not disappoint. They boosted her back into the match where she won the second set 6-2 and the third 6-4. The trend continued even into the Round of 16 when Coco played against Carolina Wozniacki. Coco hit five aces and won 69% of her first service points.
After defeating Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets during the quarterfinals, Coco shared some insight about growing up in the public eye during a press conference. She expressed gratitude for her family's support, mainly her grandmother's, who's been one of her biggest fans.
Coco Gauff Momentum
Recently in her semi-final match against Karolína Muchová, there was a 50-minute unexpected delay when three protesters created a disturbance. Two protesters were peacefully removed from the stadium by police, while the third glued his bare feet to the floor. Needless to say, Coco and Karolína treated the interruption like a rain delay before resuming the match. Coco used her problem-solving intuition to capitalize on some key points, before defeating Karolina in straight sets.
This weekend Coco will turn to her fans for encouragement as she competes in her second major final after last year's Roland Garros. This is Coco's first US Open finals and she'll be going up against the newly awaited world No. 1, Aryna Sabalenka. Coco will need to forget about their match-up at Indian Wells earlier in the year when she lost to Sabalenka 6-4, 6-0.
Instead, if Coco can play aggressively and take one point at a time, she should be able to leverage the lessons learned from her past matches to strengthen the belief she has in herself. Either way, it's going to be one for the books!