Coco Gauff won the U.S. Open women’s final, becoming the latest Black American woman to leave a history-making mark on the most sacred grounds of U.S. tennis.
Gauff bested Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus on Saturday in two out of three sets.
Gauff’s upset win at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York City, etches her name into the history books alongside other Black American women’s tennis icons like Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Althea Gibson.
Gibson won the U.S. National Championship women’s singles titles in 1957 and 1958, a forerunner of the U.S. Open. Venus, the older Williams sister, won the U.S. Open in 2001 and 2002 while Serena took the championships of 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Those six U.S. Open singles titles by Serena Williams are only matched by Chris Evert’s half-dozen championships in the tournament’s modern era, 1975-78 and 1980 and 1982.
Coming into Saturday, Gauff, 19, of Florida, has won five singles titles but was still chasing a title in one of the world’s four major tournaments (the U.S., French and Australian Opens and Wimbledon).
She’s come close before as the French Open runner-up in 2022 and when she reached the quarterfinals in Flushing Meadows last year.
It was in the low 80s when the first ball was served at about 4:15 p.m. in Queens and the roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium was closed to mitigate some of the heat.
The temperature was better Saturday than the withering conditions — mid- to high-90s — that have plagued this tournament.
CORRECTION (Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023): A previous version of this article misstated the final score. Coco Gauff defeated Aryna Sabalenka in two out of three sets, not 6-2.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.