Sports

Perseverance, sportsmanship propel Coco Gauff to first Grand Slam

Coco Gauff dominated her match against Aryna Sabalenka in the U.S. Open final, ending in her first major tournament victory. Now ranked third in women’s singles tennis, Gauff has emerged as one of the best with proper skill and sportsmanship. 

The 19-year-old lost the first set but came back with a new mindset, resulting in her ultimately winning the match. At 15-years-old, Gauff not only played against Venus Williams, a five-time tournament champion, but also beat her in the first round. This is impressive because Gauff played someone who has played longer than her and has national titles.

She was also chosen to participate in the U.S. Olympics in 2021 but didn’t end up playing after testing positive for COVID-19. 

Gauff grew up in sports and was raised by athletic parents; her dad, Corey, and her mom, Candi, both participated in Division 1 sports. Cindi competed in D1 track and field at Florida State University and Corey played D1 basketball at Georgia State University. Following in her parents’ footsteps, Gauff started playing tennis at just 6 years old, which helped shape her tennis career. Her parents were also professional athletes, so she grew up with parental figures who knew the benefits and challenges of playing a professional sport. Gauff’s win is even more rewarding because of this. Gauff has been working on her athletic career since she was little, so it’s satisfying that this win really sealed her fame. 

After moving from the youth to the adult ranks, this grand slam is the first major achievement of Gauff’s professional career. Up to this point, Gauff was nationally ranked but didn’t have any major wins. This victory not only raised her ranking, but also gave her a more well-known title. Defeating Aryna Sabalenka, one of the best women tennis players, will set her up for future success and income from prize money and brand deals.

  Gauff hopes to inspire other young girls to someday acquire the same trophy, according to CNN. Gauff sets a great example of perseverance in this match, playing against the number one ranked female for singles. This is a major accomplishment because before entering the match, she was ranked as number six for singles, and coming out of the match she moved to number three in singles. 

According to CNN, Gauff had the mindset of trying her hardest and giving it her all even if it’s a hard match, setting a great standard for a girls tennis competitor. After Gauff won, she stayed humble, complimenting and applauding Sabalenka on her number one ranking worldwide. This shows her positive attitude and made sure to redeem good sportsmanship.  

According to CNN, Sabalenka was overthinking and internally battling with herself, which is one of the main reasons she lost. This demonstrates Gauff’s perseverance because her opponent was facing hardships, and so was Gauff, but she was the one who ultimately prevailed. 

Gauff’s win just further impressed the world. Major public figures complimented Gauff on her hard work achieving this win. American tennis legend Chris Evert celebrated Gauff’s win during ESPN’s broadcast of the U.S Open final by saying she’s the future of tennis and will continue to have major accomplishments.

Overall, Gauff’s win made her and her career more evident nationally and she set an example of the proper way of competing in sports. 

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Sophia Nascimento
Sophia is junior at Bexley high school and a reporter for the Torch student newspaper. Outside of torch she plays tennis for the high school.