After her triumph, Coco Gauff shared how online trolls “put the fire” in her to do well in the 2023 US Open final and helped her win her maiden Grand Slam title.
The American turned the tide in her favor following a disastrous Wimbledon campaign, in which she lost in the first round. Since then, Gauff has won titles at the Citi Open and the Cincinnati Open.
Competing against Aryna Sabalenka at the iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium, Coco Gauff rallied from a set down to beat the Belarusian 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Speaking to the media in the post-match press conference, Gauff said she was relieved following her maiden Major victory. The 19-year-old lost the 2022 French Open final against Iga Swiatek, and hence the New York title came as a relief.
“Oh, 100% a lot of relief,” Gauff said. “It’s not the biggest emotion. I think it’s honestly the smallest one, and I think that was what the difference was between French Open and now, I feel like the relief. If I would have maybe won that title — obviously I didn’t — it would have been the biggest emotion, more than happiness, more than excitement.”
“Right now, I’m just feeling happiness and a very, very small bit of relief. Because honestly, at this point, I was doing it for myself and not for other people,” she added.
Gauff also said that she was gradually embracing all the criticism as well as the appreciation poured on her over the last few months. She added that she was extremely stubborn and wouldn’t just ignore all the trolls targeting her.
“Yeah, I have just been embracing every positive and negative thing that’s said about me. I realize, you know, sometimes people have different personalities and some people need to shut off the comments and not look at them. But I’m an argumentative person. I’m very stubborn. My parents know. If they tell me one thing, I like to do the other,” she said.