First on the back foot, Coco Gauff, tense at the start of the final, was able to hold her nerves to win her first Grand Slam tournament, at home. She also took advantage of a much too irregular opponent with no less than 46 faults. Gauff had made the final at Roland-Garros in 2022, but had never made it past the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows. She will be 3rd in the world on Monday, the best ranking of her career. Sabalenka, despite the defeat, will be number 1.
Coco Gauff becomes the youngest American to win the US Open since Serena Williams in 1999. She also succeeds her compatriot Sloane Stephens who was before her the last American crowned in Flushing in 2017.
The young Floridian ends with fireworks an American summer tour launched in a flamboyant month of August with two titles up for grabs: Washington and the WTA 1000 in Cincinnati, where she beat world No.1 Iga Swiatek in the semi-finals. Sabalenka, 25, was also playing her first final in New York after losing in the semi-finals of the last two editions.
She tried throughout the match to overwhelm Gauff, but the American's defense got the better of the Belarusian who scuttled herself with unforced errors (46 in total against 19 for Gauff). However, at the start of the final, the young American, supported by the 24,000 spectators at the Arthur-Ashe court including the director Spike Lee or the NBA player Kevin Durant, the actresses Diane Keaton and Nicole Kidman, was totally overtaken by Sabalenka who , with her big powerful shots, immediately took the game into her own hands, while the American was content to put the ball back, if possible in the court.
But the Belarusian made so many unforced errors that she kept her opponent in the game. Thus, after achieving the entry break to lead 2-0, Sabalenka offered the break to his opponent by committing two double faults and two unforced errors on his next service game. Then, despite new huge unforced errors, like this high volley conscientiously thrown into the bottom of the net, the Belarusian took over Gauff's serve and managed to confirm the break (4-2) then won the next two games again to pocket the and.
But Gauff did not give up, finding that it was enough for him to play his opponent. In the second set, she managed the break to lead 3-1 by taking advantage of a double fault from Sabalenka (the fourth). Despite a break point, she confirmed her advantage and took advantage of her opponent's 16th unforced error of the set to equalize at one set all.
In the process, the American took the Belarusian's serve... twice. Sabalenka ended up winning her service game, but called the doctor onto the court to have the inside of her left thigh massaged. , displaying the face of a player who is at least as resigned as she is suffering.
However, when the game resumed, she redid one of her late breaks. But Gauff won the next two games, to go on to lift a prestigious trophy which propelled her onto the podium in women's tennis - she will also be world No.1 in doubles, with her partner and compatriot Jessica Pegula after reaching in New York the quarter-finals.