Coco Gauff
Coco Gauff masterminded a brilliant turnaround against Aryna Sabalenka to become the US Open champion for 2023. Mike Segar/Reuters

Saturday night at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York was the scene for one of the most remarkable sporting moments of the year so far.

Coco Gauff, at only 19 years old, won her first Grand Slam title after defeating Aryna Sabalenka in the women's singles US Open final.

Gauff's victory at Flushing Meadows means she is the youngest American woman since Serena Williams in 1999 to find glory at the US Open. Williams was 17 at the time of her success and together with her sister, Venus Williams, they have both served as massive inspirations for Gauff.

Gauff was able to witness the Williams sisters in action at the US Open as a kid, as her father, Corey Gauff, would take her to matches, so this victory marks a full circle moment for the American champion.

Gauff praised the Williams sisters in her post-match conference, stating: "They're the reason why I have this trophy today, to be honest. They have allowed me to believe in this dream growing up. There weren't too many just black tennis players dominating the sport. When I was younger, it was just them I can remember."

The 19-year-old had to dig deep for her victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium as she lost the first set to Sabalenka, 6-2. This marked the third time in this year's tournament that Gauff lost the opening set and was tasked with recovering, as she did so in the first and third rounds.

Gauff came out much stronger in the second set and managed to come out on top, winning the set 6-3. This gave the American a major boost and shifted the momentum towards her heading into the deciding set, with the crowd firmly behind the emerging American star.

The teenager wasted no time in getting out in front in the third set as she broke Sabalenka twice and also held her own service games, to race into a formidable 4-0 lead. Sabalenka managed to claw her way back by breaking Gauff and recovering the score to 4-2.

However, Gauff broke Sabalenka's back and made sure her opponent could not mount any sort of comeback. Gauff then had the chance to serve for her first Grand Slam title and she made no mistake in doing so, winning the deciding set 6-2.

Right after the match, Gauff gave her on-court reaction to her win by thanking her parents before addressing those who did not believe she would reach these heights.

She said: "Honestly, thank you to the people who didn't believe in me. I tried my best to carry this with grace and I've been doing my best, so honestly, to those who thought were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it."

Victory at the US Open displays a remarkable turnaround from Gauff's last Grand Slam appearance, where she crashed out of this year's Wimbledon tournament in the first round. Saturday's win was a performance of real maturity from the teenager as it was only her second Grand Slam final, the first being her defeat against Iga Swiatek at the French Open in 2022.

It was a busy fortnight for Gauff as she also competed in the women's doubles tournament at this year's US Open, alongside fellow American Jessica Pegula. Unfortunately, Gauff was not able to go all the way in that competition as well, as she and Pegula crashed out in the quarter-finals after a three-set defeat to Hsieh Su-wei and Wang Xinyu.

Gauff's performance at the 2023 US Open means there is an ascension for her in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. She has leapt from number six in the world up to a career-best number three position in the singles rankings, and she and Pegula are the new joint leaders in the doubles rankings.

For Sabalenka, it has still been a successful year for her despite her defeat to Gauff as she won the Australian Open in January and reached the semi-finals of the French Open and Wimbledon. This consistency across the Grand Slams in 2023 means she will rise to number one in the WTA's singles rankings, ending Swiatek's extraordinary 75-week run at the top.

Whilst Saturday belonged to Gauff, Sunday belonged to Novak Djokovic, as the Serbian beat Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to become a 24-time Grand Slam champion. It was Djokovic's fourth title at Flushing Meadows and meant he tied Australia's Margaret Court in achieving 24 Grand Slam singles title wins.