Gauff wins all-U.S.

girls' final at French Open

Sally Milano  |  June 9, 2018

Fourteen-year-old Cori "Coco" Gauff captured the first Grand Slam title of her career Saturday, defeating fellow American Caty McNally, 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1), in the final of the 2018 French Open.

With the win, Gauff, at age 14 years, 2 months, becomes the fifth youngest French Open girls' singles champion in the history of the event, following Martina Hingis (1993, 12 years, 8 months); Jennifer Capriati (1989; 13 years, 2 months); Hingis (1994, 13 years, 8 months); and Gabriela Sabatini (1984; 14 years, 21 days).

She is also the fifth American girls' singles champion in the last seven majors, a run of success that hasn't been seen since 1980-81, when Kathy Horvath won the 1980 French Open, Susan Mascarin captured the 1980 US Open, Bonnie Gadusek was victorious at the 1981 French Open and Zina Garrison claimed titles at 1981 Wimbledon and the US Open.



Gauff, seeded 16th in the draw, had an impressive run to the championship, dropping her only set of the tournament to McNally in the first set of the final. Among her wins during the week, she upset No. 2 seed Xinyu Wang of China, 6-4, 6-4, in the third round and No. 6 Eleonora Molinara of Luxembourg, 6-2, 7-6, in the quarterfinals.


Gauff has now reached finals in two of the three majors in which she has competed. She also finished runner-up at the 2017 US Open at age 13, making her the youngest girls’ singles finalist ever in New York, and she played at the Australian Open in January, losing in the first round.

McNally, a 16-year-old native of Cincinnati, had a more difficult road to the final. She won her second-round match over No. 14 seed Lulu Sun of Switzerland in a third-set tiebreak, upset No. 1 seed En-Shuo Liang of Chinese Taipei, 7-5, in the third set of her third-round match, and saved a match point in her semifinal win over doubles partner Iga Swiatek of Poland.


U.S. girls have been dominant in Grand Slam play for the last year, as all-American finals have been contested in four of the last five majors, starting with the 2017 French Open, where Whitney Osuigwe defeated Claire Liu for the title. Three weeks later, Liu beat Ann Li to win the Wimbledon girls’ championship, Amanda Anisimova topped Gauff in September in the US Open girls’ final, and now Gauff ousted McNally for the 2018 French Open title.


Gauff's victory in Paris is also the ninth junior singles championship won by an American boy or girl since 2015.

McNally has the chance to take home another trophy from Paris later Saturday, as she will be playing for the girls’ doubles title with Swiatek against the No. 3-seeded team of Yuki Naito and Naho Sato of Japan.



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