Coco Gauff Beats Aryna Sabalenka At The Arthur Ashe Stadium To Win The US Open Title

Coco Gauff signalled a potentially new era for American tennis by holding her nerve to stage a brilliant comeback and claim the US Open title. The Arthur Ashe Stadium rose to acclaim a new hero as she ultimately dissected the game of Aryna Sabalenka to emerge a 2-6 6-3 6-2 winner after a sometimes chaotic but always compelling final.

Before an assembled A-list crowd of screen stars – from Nicole Kidman to Diane Keaton – the players fought for a check of $3 million, fifty years after equal prize money was introduced. The 19-year-old can expect a far greater bounty than that in time after positioning herself in the vanguard of an emerging generation.

A shooting star to the last sixteen at Wimbledon four years ago, she has been a long time in the making but this was a coming of age which will promote her to world number three. Specifically in this match, it was her superb defence that got her through, contributing just two unforced errors in the tension-filled decider. It all ended with a backhand pass drilled down the line in a nerveless final game, after which she walked up into the stands to hug her ecstatic parents.

After the emotional reunion with her parents, Gauff was presented with the trophy by Billie Jean King and had words for those who doubted her.

‘Thanks to the people who didn’t believe in me. I won a 1000 title (in Cincinnati) and people said it was the biggest I would get. I tried to my best to carry this with grace, those who thought they were putting water on my fire they were adding gas to it, I’m burning so bright now.

‘Oh my goodness, it means so much to me, I feel like I’m a little bit in shock. God puts you through tribulations and that makes it even sweeter than I imagine. My faith has been important, I’m so blessed in this life, and I’m so happy for this moment.

‘I knew that if I didn’t give it my all I had no shot at winning, Aryna is an incredible player. Today was the first time I’ve ever seen my Dad cry.  ‘He thinks he’s so hard! My dad brought me to this tournament to watch Venus and Serena so it’s incredible to be on this stage. I tried to Facetime my brother after, a bit he didn’t answer.

Gauff had walked onto the court to a predictably rousing ovation, with the sound only amplified by the roof being closed as the rain was forecast in the area.

Attempting to become the twelfth teenage female winner at this venue – the last one was Emma Raducanu two years ago – she would be facing someone already assured of reaching world number one on Monday. The American was armed with a 3-2 record over her opponent although their only meeting this year saw the Belarussian win at Indian Wells.

It was not long before Gauff was reminded of the power she would need to soak up, the shrieking Sabalenka breaking at the off with a huge cross-court backhand. The price of her huge cuts at the ball can be inconsistency and Gauff pounced to level for 2-2 when the higher-ranked player double-faulted and then whacked a forehand into the net with the court at her mercy.

Sabalenka’s emotions are an open book and she was definitely edgy but managed to consolidate her break for 3-2 as the match turned into a game of cat and mouse – the second seed’s penetrating drives bringing out the best in the teenager’s remarkably athletic coverage of the baseline.

Wiping away tears postgame, Sabalenka said ‘Most of my time I handled my emotions pretty well, congrats to Coco, you played unbelievable in the final.’ She addressed her family back home and added: ‘Sorry for this result.’