The US Open final is set. Coco Gauff will face Aryna Sabalenka on Championship Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
Coco Gauff, American Tennis’ Hot Name
The 19-year-old Coco Gauff has become the youngest American player to reach the US Open final since Serena Williams in 1999 when she was 17.
In front of a supportive home crowd, Saturday’s final seems like the perfect opportunity for the South Florida prodigy Gauff to win her first Grand Slam title.
In what was a wacky night at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Coco Gauff, the star attraction of her home Grand Slam tournament and the new face of American Tennis, beat Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic with two sets to nil, 6-4 and 7-5, to reach her first US Open singles final.
An hour into the match, a protester in an “End Fossil Fuels” T-shirt glued his feet to the concrete floor of the stadium and stopped play for around 50 minutes. A difficult-to-handle situation, but luckily for Gauff, who might move to No. 3 if she wins the final, the night went her way as she was encouraged by a crowd that exploded for her from start to finish.
Now, she finds herself in front of a golden opportunity to win on home soil and continue her recent impressive form. Ever since losing the 2022 Roland Garros final to Iga Swiatek, Tennis observers noticed how much Gauff’s mentality has evolved. Gauff speaks a lot about this too.
“So, I have just been really focusing on myself. I really believe that now I have the maturity and ability to do it. You know, regardless of what happens on Saturday, I’m really proud of how I have been handling the last few weeks,” she said in the interview post her semi-final victory.
Gauff’s recent performances might be worrying Sabalenka. Since her first-round loss at Wimbledon last June, the American has won 17 of her last 18 matches, going on an 11-match win streak. She won the two biggest titles of her career this summer, a WTA 500 trophy in Washington D.C., and a WTA 1000 in Cincinnati.
Gauff’s Impressive Road To The Final
R1: Siegemund, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
R2: Andreeva, 6-3, 6-2
R3:  Mertens, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0
R16: Wozniacki, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
QF:  Ostapenko, 6-0, 6-2
SF:  Muchova, 6-4, 7-5
The Future No. 1 In The World, Aryna Sabalenka
Facing Gauff in the finals is the soon-to-be new world No. 1, Aryna Sabalenka who will be looking to win her second major tournament of the year. A complicated 2-1 win (6-0, 7-6, 7-10) against Madison Keys saw her reach the US Open final for the first time in her career after a devastating 2022 US Open semi-final loss against the eventual champion Iga Swiatek, despite a first set lead.
A year later, the Belarusian 25-year-old is a different player. And her record shows.
Since her exit in New York last September, Sabalenka opened 2023 with a first major career win at the Australian Open. She added the 1000-level title in Madrid, as well as reaching the finals at Indian Wells and Stuttgart.
By qualifying for the US Open semi-finals, she became the first player since Serena Williams in 2016 to reach the semifinals in the four Grand Slams in the same season.
Sabalenka’s Dominating Victories Heading Into The Final
R1: Zanevska, 6-3, 6-2
R2: Burrage, 6-3, 6-2
R3: Burel, 6-1, 6-1
R16:  Kasatkina 6-1, 6-3
QF:  Zheng Qinwen, 6-1 6-4
SF:  Keys, 0-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(5)
- In the semifinals, Gauff eliminated No. 10-ranked Karolina Muchova, 6-4, 7-5. Sabalenka defeated No. 17-ranked Madison Keys 0-6, 7-6, 7-6.
- On hard courts, Gauff has played 45 matches over the past 12 months, totaling 19.6 games per match while winning 60.0% of games.
- Through 40 matches on hard courts in the past 12 months, Sabalenka has averaged 20.8 games per match and 9.1 games per set, winning 58.2% of those games.
- In the head-to-head matches, Gauff has a 3-2 advantage against Sabalenka. Their last meeting was a 6-4, 6-0 victory for Sabalenka in the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals in March, 2023.
- In terms of sets, Gauff has secured 7 against Sabalenka (53.8%), while Sabalenka has claimed 6.
Tournament: The 2023 US Open
Round: The Final
Date: Saturday, September 9
Venue: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Location: New York
Court Surface: Hard