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By Richard Pagliaro| @Tennis_Now | Monday, August 21, 2023

Tennis matches are wordless dialogs between players exchanging ideas with each shot they strike. 

Playing a vast vocabulary of shots Coco Gauff continues to deliver the final word. 

Allaster: US Open Ball is in WTA's Court

The 19-year-old Gauff defeated Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-4 in the Cincinnati final to capture the biggest title of her career and become the youngest champion in Western & Southern Open tournament history.

It is the third title of the season for Gauff, who is the first teenager to win three WTA titles in a season since US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in 2019.

Washington, DC champion Gauff raised her career finals record to 5-1 with her lone loss coming to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the 2022 Roland Garros final. Gauff snapped a seven-match losing streak to Swiatek stunning the top seed in a gripping three-set Cincinnati semifinal.

A red-hot Gauff has won 11 of her last 12 matches and two of her last three tournaments after her surge to the Washington, DC title earlier this month.

All this from the teenager who conceded she cried in frustration after falling to former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in her Wimbledon opener last month. 

"For me, it was just like difficult because I knew what I needed to improve," Gauff said. "I was going in practice and I was working on it. It just wasn't translating into the matches. It still can get a lot better, the things I want to improve."

Working with coaches Pere Riba and Brad Gilbert during her summer streak, Gauff has applied her all-court skills, mixed her serve spins and speeds and used her jolting speed to transition from defense to offense at the right times.

Gauff said the biggest lesson she's learned from her summer of success: Finding ways to win when her best tennis eludes her. 

"For me the biggest thing was my serve, forehand and return," Gauff said. "Today I really won it off of breaking serve, to be honest. I wasn't really serving as good as I did against Iga. I don't know if it was nerves. I wasn't that nervous, to be honest. Also a combination of the long match yesterday. I wasn't serving as well.

"I think that's what makes a champion, is how you're doing on the days you aren't feeling so great. I'm glad I was able to push through."

The 2022 US Open quarterfinalist moves on to New York City where she will enjoy massive fan support playing for her maiden major.

"I believe in just, I don't know, you give it your all," Gauff said. "That's all you can do. I'm going to give it my all in US Open. If things go great, that's exciting. If not, I go back and work hard and get ready for the next one. That's kind of the mentality you have to have.

"I can't control how I play. Today I couldn't control my serve. But that's the thing, for me, I try to tell myself literally the first point, I knew it was going to be a tough match, I was just, Just accept the good with the bad. I probably double-faulted the most I did in a while. That's accepting the good with the bad, just keep persevering. So that's what I'm going to do in US Open.

"I think this match really taught me a lot really just for maybe my whole career."

Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty