Coco Gauff is going to the final of the U.S. Open. The tennis star defeated Czech player Karolina Muchova 6-4, 7-5 on Thursday. Not only will this be Gauff’s first U.S. Open final, but she is also the youngest American finalist since Serena Williams in 1999.
“This is crazy. I grew up watching this tournament so much, so it means a lot to be in the final,” Gauff said in an on-court interview, according to CBS. “A lot to celebrate, but the job is not done.”
Saturday’s match will be Gauff’s second Grand Slam final of her career, where she will play against Belarusan player Aryna Sabalenka. The 19-year-old had gone to the final of the 2022 French Open.
“I really believe that now I have the maturity and ability to do it,” Gauff said, according to the AP. “You know, regardless of what happens on Saturday, I’m really proud of how I have been handling the last few weeks.”
Serena Williams was 17 when she won her first U.S. Open title, where she defeated Swiss player Martina Hingis. According to the U.S. Open, it was also her first Grand Slam title. The win marked the beginning of a highly successful career in the sport. At the time, she competed with her signature beaded braids.
Gauff has received advice from the Williams sisters in the past. She said she looks up to Serena as an inspiration for her career.
“I love that she always elevates herself,” Gauff said in 2022, according to Insider. “Sometimes being a woman, a Black woman in the world, you settle for less. I feel like Serena taught me that, from watching her, she never settled for less. I can’t remember a moment in her career or life that she settled for less.”