Coco Gauff said she was overwhelmed with joy when she realized she won the U.S. Open women’s final on Saturday and her victory “still doesn’t feel real at all.”
The triumphant 19-year-old made history, becoming the youngest American to win the title since Serena Williams in 1999.
“It’s still crazy,” the star athlete said in an exclusive interview on NBC’s “TODAY” show Monday, beaming in a yellow dress.
It was Gauff’s first major title with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
The teenager fell on the ground and sobbed on the tennis court at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City after securing her win before a raucous crowd of adoring fans and A-list celebrities. She shared a heart sign to the camera before embracing her family.
Gauff revealed she was up until 1 a.m. the night before the match talking with her boyfriend, which helped her sleep. After winning, the first people she called were her brothers and grandmother.
Gauff became one of the most famous faces in tennis following her impressive performance at Wimbledon in 2019, where she reached the fourth round as a 15-year-old qualifier.
Her mother, Candi Gauff, attributed her daughter’s success to her self-discipline.
“Coco is a very dedicated, self-disciplined person. She was very gifted as a child. She always strived to do her best. It comes from within her,” Candi Gauff said on the “TODAY” show.