Coco Gauff Wins US Open, Former USTA Florida President Named 'Champion of Equality' & More
The 2023 US Open has come to an end, and the final Grand Slam of the year was kind to the state of Florida. Coco Gauff became the youngest American Women (19), since Serena Williams (17) in 1999, to win the tournament. This marks the first Major title for Gauff in her young career.
Gauff had an incredible run through the US Open. She started her first match by dropping the opening set and stormed back to take the match with the crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium behind her. She would see this similar story multiple times throughout the Open. Four of her seven matches ended up going the distance, but each time, she prevailed, and the championship was no different.
Taking on the now No. 1 player in the world, Aryna Sabalenka, Coco once again had her back against the wall. She found herself in a hole early, giving up a break and dropping the opening set. However, with over 23,000 fans cheering their hearts out for the 19-year-old, Gauff stormed back one final time to take the finals two sets and become a US Open Champion.
She is the first American to win the Grand Slam since fellow Floridian, Sloane Stephens did in 2017. This win closes out an impressive 3-week run for the teenager. Coco won a 500 and 1000 title at Washington D.C. and Cincinatti.
After the match, Coco attested to growing up in Delray Beach, Florida, helping her prepare for this crazy grind of tennis she has been through recently. “The endurance is there. I can last as long as anybody in the women's side of the tournament. Probably even maybe some of the men,” she said. “The heat means nothing to me. I kind of wanted it to be hot. But, it definitely helped me I think against my Caroline Wozniacki match, against Andreeva and against Ostapenko, that was crucial. South Florida has helped me a lot prepare for these moments.”
Gauff is now the No. 3 ranked WTA player in Singles and the No. 1 ranked Doubles player in the world!
Besides Coco’s great performance, Ben Shelton made an incredible run on the Men’s side of the draw. Shelton took down some tennis powerhouses, including Americans, Francis Tiafoe and Tommy Paul. His run eventually ended in the semis, where the now 24-time Grand Slam Champion, Novak Djokovic took down the 20-year-old in straight sets. Shelton’s result helped him climb up to the No. 19 ranked ATP player in the world and fourth highest American.
Also, 2023 French Open Doubles Champion, Austin Krajicek made an impressive run in the Men’s and Mixed Doubles. Krajicek partnered up with fellow American, Jessica Pegula in Mixed Doubles, where the pair was dominant throughout the tournament. Sadly, they fell short in the Championship match. Austin also saw himself in the semifinals of the Men’s Doubles, where himself and Ivan Dodig (Croatia) lost in the semifinals to the eventual back-to-back-to-back champions Joe Salisbury (United Kingdom) and Rajeev Ram (United States).
On top of that, former USTA Florida Board President, Dana Andrews, was one of 16 USTA Section Champions of Equality. Alongside Billie Jean King and Venus Williams, the USTA hosted its inaugural ‘Champions of Equality” event, which was a celebration of women fighting for equality in tennis. This recognized those women who have been pioneers in both the professional and grassroot levels.
USTA Florida is honored to have our former president, Dana Andrews, receive this award as she is constantly creating a platform for women and girls to enjoy tennis.
Overall, the future of Florida tennis is extremely bright and USTA Florida is proud to have people on the pro and grassroot level promoting the game to everyone in the world!