Atlanta

Atlanta-born Coco Gauff wins U.S. Open, secures first Grand Slam title

ATLANTA — Atlanta-born Coco Gauff is a Grand Slam champ!

Gauff bested Aryna Sabalenka in the U.S. Open women’s final on Saturday 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The 19-year-old Gauff forced a third set after winning the second set 6-3 after Sabalenka won the first set 6-2 in 40 minutes.

Gauff won for the third time in her seven matches at this U.S. Open after losing the first set. The No. 6 seed rallied after slow starts against Laura Siegemund in the first round and Elise Mertens in the third round.

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Before the semifinal, Sabalenka had not given up a set. American Madison Keys won the first set over Sabalenka in their semifinal match.

Sabalenka started the year by winning the Australian Open in January.

There is no doubt which player the crowd favored. The loud crowds have been backing Gauff all tournament — their harsh treatment made first-round opponent Laura Siegemund of Germany cry afterward — and Sabalenka spoke after defeating Keys about how taking on an American in America isn’t easy.

“I’m still hoping that probably some of them will be supporting me. Will be just a little bit,” Sabalenka said with a laugh. “Just sometimes, please. Please!”

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Gauff was the runner-up to Iga Swiatek at the 2022 French Open.

Four years ago, she became the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history and beat seven-time major champion Venus Williams en route to the fourth round there.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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