Coco Gauff advances to US Open women’s final

Delray Beach teen to play for Grand Slam championship
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 10:00 PM EDT|Updated: 14 hours ago
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Coco Gauff will play for a Grand Slam championship on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Delray Beach tennis star defeated Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 7-5 on Thursday night to advance to the women's final.

The match was delayed for about 50 minutes by environmental activists inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. They were wearing shirts that read, "End Fossil Fuels." At least one person had glued their shoes to the ground, making it harder to be removed.

The Delray Beach star is the youngest American to make it to the U.S. Open title match since Serena Williams in 2001.

After failing to convert one match point while serving for the win at 5-3, then another four in what turned out to be the last game, Gauff got the last chance she would need when she smacked a forehand winner to cap a 40-stroke exchange that was the longest of the contest. Muchova then missed a backhand to end it.

"Some of those points, it was so loud, and I don't know if my ears are going to be OK," Gauff said.

Gauff, the sixth seed in the tournament, will play Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the finals. Sabalenka, the second seed, edged American Madison Keys 0-6, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (10-5).

Coco Gauff celebrates match point against Karolina Muchova, of the Czech Republic, during the...
Coco Gauff celebrates match point against Karolina Muchova, of the Czech Republic, during the women's singles final of the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament on Sunday in Mason, Ohio.

"I grew up watching this tournament so much, so it means a lot to be in the final. A lot to celebrate," Gauff said. "But the job is not done, so hopefully you can back me on Saturday."

Thursday night's victory was the 11th in a row for Gauff and the 17th in her past 18 matches, a run that began after a first-round exit at Wimbledon in July. The streak includes the two biggest titles of Gauff's career — and now she needs one more win to get an even more important championship.

She was the runner-up at the 2022 French Open and now will try to claim her first Grand Slam title.

The U.S. Open women's final will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday.

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