Coco Gauff, an American teenage tennis star, secured her most significant career victory by defeating Karolina Muchova in straight sets at the Cincinnati Open final.
This marks the 19-year-old’s fifth career title and her third of 2023, adding to her previous wins in Washington DC and Auckland.
Following her surprise win against top seed Iga Swiatek in the semi-finals, Gauff maintained her momentum with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over her Czech opponent in the showdown on Sunday.
The victory is a substantial confidence boost for Gauff ahead of the upcoming US Open, scheduled for August 28.
Gauff’s achievement also places her in the history books as the first teenager to secure three WTA titles in a year since Bianca Andreescu’s accomplishment in 2019.
As the seventh seed, Gauff managed to break Muchova, whom she faced for the first time, three times during the initial set. She closed out the stage confidently, serving it to love in her inaugural appearance in a WTA 1000 final.
Although Muchova is set to enter the top 10 for the first time, she encountered challenges maintaining consistency. A missed backhand during the second set’s fifth game provided Gauff with the crucial break.
While Gauff faltered to convert three match-point opportunities while serving at 5-2, she ultimately clinched the victory in her subsequent service game.
Reflecting on her achievement, Gauff expressed her disbelief, especially considering the difficulties she faced during the European summer. This included struggles such as an early exit at Wimbledon. She said, “I’m just happy to be here now. I spent a lot of nights alone crying, trying to figure it out.”
In the men’s doubles final, Jamie Murray and Michael Venus from New Zealand came close to victory against Argentina’s Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni. Despite holding a championship point, they were defeated 3-6, 6-1, 11-9.
Gonzalez, aged 40, delivered a pivotal second-serve ace while facing the championship point at 8-9 during the match tie-break. He sealed the victory two moments later with a decisive return off a Venus serve.