Gauff lost her first Grand Slam final but ended on the winning side in her second Slam final.
Coco Gauff revealed watching Iga Swiatek lift the 2022 French Open trophy was something she used for motivation to become a Grand Slam champion. In the 2022 French Open final, Swiatek dismantled Gauff 6-1 6-3. 15 months later, 19-year-old Gauff became a Grand Slam champion after handing Aryna Sabalenka a 2-6 6-3 6-2 loss in the US Open final.
“Honestly, you know, the French Open moment, I don’t know if they caught it on camera but I watched Iga lift that trophy, and I watched her the whole time. I said, I’m not going to take my eyes off her, because I want to feel what that felt like for her,” Gauff said.
Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport – Ryan Pierse
Gauff: I envisioned myself being in this position
Even before turning pro and becoming a tennis star, Gauff had visions of herself lifting Grand Slam trophies. “When I was 13 I think or 14 when I played US Open juniors, I watched the men’s final that year, so I had those envisions of myself then.
That felt like craziness today lifting this trophy. It hasn’t sunken in and I think it probably will maybe in a week or so. Oh, I think the first was when I was eight and I would come, like, three times, three or four years in a row, to see Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day and I was just watching, you know, players compete on this court,” Gauff said.
For Gauff, it was an outstanding summer on hard courts. After winning Washington and Cincinnati, Gauff also made it all the way at the US Open. The only tournament on hard this summer where Gauff didn’t win the title was Montreal, where she was beaten by Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinal.
Overall, Gauff concluded her North American hard court swing with an 18-1 record. Following her US Open win, Gauff also reached a career-high ranking of No 3 in the world.