Teenage tennis sensation Coco Gauff won the first major tournament of her young career Saturday, and then bowed down in prayer as thousands in the arena and millions on television watched.
“I don’t pray for results,” she said during a nationally televised interview. “I just ask that I get the strength to give it my all. And whatever happens, happens. I’m so blessed in this life. So I’m just thankful for this moment. I don’t have any words for it to be honest.”
Gauff, 19, roared back after losing the first set to defeat Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the finals of the U.S Open for her first Grand Slam tournament title. (Wimbledon, the French Open and the Australian Open are the other major tournaments.)
She is ranked No. 3 in the world and has won more than $11 million during her career, including six singles titles.
But until the U.S. Open, 2023 had not been a banner year at majors. Gauff lost in the quarterfinals of the French Open this summer and in the first round of Wimbledon a month later. Earlier this year, she fell in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
Asked for her reaction to the championship, Gauff said, “It means so much to me. I feel like I’m a little bit in shock in this moment. That French Open loss was a heartbreak for me. But I realized, you know, God puts you through tribulations and trials and this makes this moment even more sweeter than I can imagine.”
Gauff is known for her Christian faith. After winning the finals of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati this year, she thanked Jesus on national TV. The previous match, she had beaten the No. 1 player in the world.
“I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” she said. “It’s been a lot of nights alone crying trying to figure it out. And you know, I still have a lot to figure out. But you know, I thank Him for covering me.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Elsa/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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