After two weeks of world-class tennis, Rolex Testimonee Coco Gauff triumphed in New York to claim the 2023 US Open women’s singles crown and her first Grand Slam® title. In doing so, the 19-year-old becomes the youngest American player to win the US Open since 1999 and rises to a career-high ranking of world No. 3.
The fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the calendar year is seen as one of the highlights of the season by both players and spectators. Renowned for its electric atmosphere and impassioned fans, this year’s edition was no exception with Gauff feeding off the exuberant energy in the stands throughout the tournament and, in particular, during the final where she staged a thrilling 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback victory.
With origins dating back to 1881, the US Open is one of the oldest tennis championships in the world. Rolex’s special relationship with the tournament as Official Timekeeper was inaugurated in 2018, further strengthening the Swiss watchmaker’s presence at the heart of the game with the support of all four Grand Slam tournaments. As part of its pivotal partnerships in sport, the brand helps to foster the development of tennis by strengthening its commitment to young talent and the most iconic athletes whose exceptional feats have brought excellence and greatness to the game.
Gauff displayed peerless composure in the final to withstand the challenge of her powerful opponent and it was the American’s unwavering determination that saw her reign supreme on one of tennis’ biggest stages. As the match went on, Gauff grew in confidence and showed no sign of nerves in the closing exchanges, sealing the historic victory with a superb backhand winner on her first match point. Overcome with emotion, she immediately fell to the floor and sat on the sideline with her head in her hands before making a heart sign to the cheering fans. Almost the entirety of the star-studded, partisan crowd inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the US Open’s iconic centerpiece arena with a seating capacity of close to 23,800 – by far the largest court in Grand Slam tennis – leapt to their feet and erupted in a frenzied celebration of the new champion that they had willed to victory.
Winning a Grand Slam title in one’s home country is often regarded as a crowning moment for tennis players and to achieve this feat at such a young age speaks volumes of Gauff’s committed spirit and dedication. Before lifting the coveted trophy, Gauff climbed the stands to share an emotional moment with her parents, Corey and Candi Gauff, who used to take her to the US Open as a child to watch her idols play. All three embraced and cried tears of joy in recognition that their sacrifices had resulted in one of the sport’s greatest prizes.
Reflecting on the significance of her achievement, Coco Gauff said: “I feel like I’m in a little bit of shock at the moment. I feel like God puts you through trials and tribulations, and that makes this even sweeter. I’m thankful for this moment. I don’t have any words.”
With this victory, Gauff joins an illustrious list of Rolex Testimonees to have triumphed in New York, which includes Rod Laver, Chris Evert, Stefan Edberg, Pat Rafter, Justine Henin, Roger Federer, Juan Martín del Potro, Angelique Kerber, Sloane Stephens, Bianca Andreescu, Dominic Thiem, Iga Świątek and Carlos Alcaraz.
The US Open Women��s Singles Championship Trophy is made from sterling silver; across the front of the Trophy features the engravings of some of the most famous names in tennis history, alongside which Gauff now belongs. Whilst they cannot take the original trophies home, champions are given a replica with the same dimensions as the original trophy – unlike at the other three Grand Slam tournaments.
While glory belonged to Gauff this year, several other members of the Rolex family delivered strong performances, including Alcaraz, who reached the men’s singles semi-finals. Fellow Testimonees Qinwen Zheng and Taylor Fritz both reached the quarter-finals; and Caroline Wozniacki displayed her relentless pursuit of excellence and resilience with a remarkable run at her third tournament since coming out of retirement. After a three-and-a-half year absence from the game, the former World No. 1 from Denmark captivated crowds and reached the fourth round.
Gauff has long been destined to reach the highest heights in tennis. After bursting onto the scene with an extraordinary performance at The Championships, Wimbledon in 2019, where she made history by becoming the tournament’s youngest qualifier, aged 15, and making it to the fourth round in her Grand Slam debut, her emergence and career to date has captured the world’s attention.
Always a prodigious talent, Gauff’s triumph provides a fitting conclusion to the 2023 Grand Slam season and adds another memorable chapter in the tournament’s rich history. The focus of the tennis world now turns to the annual team competitions including the Davis Cup and the Laver Cup, which takes place for the first time in Vancouver, Canada from 22–24 September, at which Rolex is a Founding Partner and Official Timekeeper.