At just 19 years old, Coco Gauff made history at the U.S. Open, becoming the youngest woman to reach the final since Serena Williams in 1999. In a dazzling display of skill and determination, she triumphed over the formidable 25-year-old Belarusian pro, Aryna Sabalenka, who held the number two ranking.
Gauff’s victory marked her first Grand Slam title and secured a substantial $3-million in prize money after a thrilling three-set showdown.
Amidst the deafening cheers of the 23,700-strong crowd at the iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York City, Coco Gauff seized the moment in the finals, reaffirming her status as one of tennis’s brightest stars. She carried the torch forward gracefully, following in the footsteps of the legendary Serena Williams, who retired in 2022.
For Sabalenka, it was a stark realization that Gauff’s exceptional talent and powerful backhand left her trailing behind. The final score of 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in Gauff’s favour showcased the rising African-American tennis sensation’s unwavering determination.
In 1999, Serena Williams claimed her first Grand Slam singles title at the U.S. Open, defeating Swiss legend Martina Hingis in straight sets. At the time, she achieved this milestone at 17 years and 350 days.
Gauff’s victory over Aryna Sabalenka established her as the youngest woman to win a Grand Slam since Serena and propelled her to the world’s number three ranking. This remarkable triumph came with a substantial $3-million prize, generously provided by the event organizers.
This significant windfall will substantially boost Gauff’s on-court earnings for the year, surpassing her previous year’s total of $3.2 million.
Her impressive total earnings of $15.2 million in the previous year had already secured her the seventh spot on Forbes’ prestigious list of the world’s highest-paid tennis players, alongside tennis icons like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Daniil Medvedev.
With her projected earnings this year, Gauff not only stands as the face of women’s tennis, but also solidifies her position as one of the world’s highest-earning athletes, demonstrating her exceptional talent and marketability on a global stage.