Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday September 9, 2023

sabalenka and gauff

And then there were two. Join us for a preview of Saturday's women's singles final at the USOpen.

Photo Source: TTV

And then there were two! It’s Day 13 in New York, which means it is time for the US Open’s women’s final.

Let’s have a look at the matchup!

Tennis Express

[2] Aryna Sabalenka v [6] Coco Gauff

Key Stat: Gauff is bidding to become the youngest American to win the women's singles title at the US Open since Serena Williams in 1999

Key Stat: Sabalenka will rise to No.1 for the first time on the Monday after the Open.

A final that features the next WTA No.1 and a rising home favorite who just so happens to be 19 years old has tennis fans excited about Saturday’s main event on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

It has been a fairy tale summer for Coco Gauff, the promising 19-year-old who has won 17 of 18 matches this summer after going through a transformation that has been spearheaded by her decision to change up her coaching team and add Brad Gilbert as a consultant, and Pere Riba as her coach.

Gauff has been a different player on the North American hard courts, and by playing with more self-belief and aggression she has managed to take home titles in Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati, where she earned her first ever win over World No.1 Iga Swiatek before defeating Karolina Muchova in the final.

Gauff was slated to face Swiatek in the quarters at the Open, but Caroline Wozniacki stunned the Pole in the round of 16. Gauff then battled past the Dane in the quarterfinals in three sets before edging past Karolina Muchova 6-4 7-5 on Thursday night to reach her maiden US Open final and her second at the Slams.

Meanwhile, Sabalenka was cruising through the tournament, dropping just 21 games through five rounds, until she ran into a hard-hitting, determined Madison Keys on Thursday night. Keys bageled Sabalenka in the opening set, but the No.2 seed showed her true grit by responding to rally back from a break down in the second and third set, as she captured both of those sets in tiebreaks to reach her second career Grand Slam final.

Sabalenka has been close to perfect at the Slams this year, going 23-2 overall, and winning her maiden major title at the Australian Open.

It has been a breakthrough season for her but she has still struggled closing out matches at times, particularly in semifinals, where she lost heartbreakers to Muchova at Roland-Garros and Ons Jabeur at Wimbledon.

It is Gauff that owns the 3-2 lifetime edge over Sabalenka, but the Belarusian dominated their only 2023 encounter, 6-4, 6-0, at Indian Wells this year.

The contest promises to be a contrast in style between Sabalenka’s go-for-broke, relentless attacking game and Gauff’s more tactically nuanced, fleet-footed all-court game.

Sabalenka will have to find ways to open the court and hit winners past Gauff; Gauff will need to patiently probe and attack when the time is right. If she can defend well and frustrate Sabalenka, all the better, but she’d be best served by not relying on her defense too much.

What Gauff Said About the Final

“I'm trying to enjoy the moment but also knowing I still have more work to do. Yes, the final is an incredible achievement but it's something that I'm not satisfied with yet.”

Gauff, comparing herself now to where she was at when she played her first major final at Roland-Garros in 2022: “I think I just didn't really believe that I had it in me, especially at the time playing Iga, who was on a winning streak and everything. But this time around, I have been focusing more on myself and my expectations of myself. Not going on social media or listening to people who believe that I can or believe that I can't.

“So I have just been really focusing on myself. I really believe that now I have the maturity and ability to do it. You know, regardless of what happens on Saturday, I'm really proud of how I have been handling the last few weeks.”

What Sabalenka said About the Final

“Going into this final, I think I just have to focus on myself and prepare myself for another fight. No matter what, just keep fighting and keep playing my best and do my best. You know, like, there is nothing much you can, what else can you do? You just have to be there and you have to fight for it.”


Latest News