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Coco Gauff rolls to first U.S. title in Washington, D.C.

Victoria Chiesa | August 06, 2023

Disappointed after a first-round loss to fellow American Sofia Kenin at Wimbledon, Coco Gauff got to work—and it's already reaping rewards. The American captured her first WTA 500 title, and fourth of her career, Sunday with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Maria Sakkari at the Mubadala Citi DC Open. 


Gauff, seeded third, didn't drop a set over the course of the week at Rock Creek Park to win her second title of the year, and first since she triumphed at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand in the season's first week. 

After wins over two Top 20 players, No. 5 seed Belinda Bencic and defending champion, and No. 8 seed, Luidmila Samsonova in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, the 1 hour, 24-minute win over Sakkari was Gauff's second Top 10 win of the season.


In four matches, Gauff didn't lose a set, and surrendered just 19 games, to become the third American champion in tournament history, and first teenage winner in 11 editions. 


Though she'd lost four of her five previously meetings against Sakkari, Gauff won the 15 of the first 20 points of the match, and later came from a break down twice in the second set to win in straight sets. From 3-2, 30-0 down on Sakkari's serve, Gauff didn't lose another game.


Fourth-seeded Sakkari, who beat top seed Jessica Pegula in the semifinals to snap a seven-match losing streak in penultimate rounds, dropped to 1-7 in her career in WTA finals. 

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images.

Gauff later credited her new coach Pere Riba and consultant Brad Gilbert for her success in the nation's capital. 


"It's our first tournament as a full team," Gauff said in her victory speech. "I'm glad that we were able to make this result. I know those who were with me at Wimbledon, it was really tough a couple of weeks ago. We were all feeling it. I'm glad I was able to bounce back." 


The U.S. nearly came away with two championship trophies on Sunday, but the doubles team of Mackenzie McDonald and Ben Shelton fell just short in the first final of the day at the combined ATP and WTA 500 event. After winning the first set, the unseeded Americans were beaten by Argentines Andres Molteni and Maximo Gonzalez, 6-7(4), 6-2, [10-6].

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