In a dramatic finish to the 2020 US Open women’s final, 15-year-old American Coco Gauff rallied from a set down to defeat Aryna Sabalenka in a three-set thriller 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Gauff, who became the youngest Grand Slam singles finalist in the Open Era, did not look out of place on the court despite her inexperience, and began impressively, taking the opening game of the match. However, Sabalenka, who was playing in her first Grand Slam final, seized the initiative from then on and never really looked back. Despite some strong attacking tennis, Gauff was unable to break Sabalenka’s serve and eventually lost the first set 6-2.
In the second set, Gauff made a strong start, taking a break point in the fourth game and converting it with a powerful backhand. This seemed to give the American renewed confidence, and she began to attack Sabalenka’s serve much more sharply, taking five more break points in the set. After a long, hard-fought set, Gauff managed to close it out 6-4 to take the match to a deciding third set.
Gauff started the third set just as aggressively as she had the second, breaking Sabalenka’s serve in the sixth game to go 4-2 up. Despite having some chances to break back, Sabalenka could not capitalise and Gauff eventually served out the match to win in an emotionally-charged three sets.
In doing so, Gauff became the youngest Grand Slam singles champion in the Open Era, and her victory marked the start of what looks to be an incredibly bright future for women’s tennis.