Coco Gauff won her first Slam in NYC, Novak Djokovic won his 24th Slam

Coco Gauff, 19, and Novak Djokovic, 36, are the 2023 US Open singles champions. Coco, a tennis prodigy who turned pro at 15, won her first major title in New York on Saturday, while Novak won his historic 24th major title on Sunday. Interesting fact: in both Cincinnati and New York, Coco and Novak were often the double-billing in evening sessions, and they hyped each other throughout both tournaments, and then they ended up winning the titles in both Cincy and New York. It was really cute to see.

Anyway, Coco is already such a major star, and this Slam title came after a few years of “one step forward, two steps back.” It’s genuinely felt like she’s a new player this summer though – after her first-round loss at Wimbledon, she returned home and her father encouraged her to hire a new coaching team. She hired Pere Riba and Brad Gilbert and won the three biggest titles of her career in the span of six weeks – DC, Cincy and New York. She defeated the new world #1 in the final, Aryna Sabalenka.

Meanwhile, Novak defeated my favorite player, Daniil Medvedev in the final. Too many tennis commentators wanted a final between Novak and Carlos Alcaraz, but Daniil “upset” Carlos in the semifinal on Friday night, in what may be one of my favorite matches I’ve ever seen from Daniil. People acted as if Daniil came out of nowhere – he won the US Open in 2021, and he’s #3 in the world, and he’s won five titles this season (including two Masters titles). Anyway, he fought hard but he didn’t have it in the final and Novak was simply too clutch.

Novak now “ties” the all-time Slam record of Margaret Court. Although Court’s record is a false one – her “24” number counts pre-Open era titles, back when the Australian Open was little more than a local club tournament. Serena Williams is the real Open Era record-holder on the women’s side with 23 major singles titles.

I loved that Coco thanked her haters in her victory speech. Novak’s speech was too long, but I get it, he made history.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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26 Responses to “Coco Gauff won her first Slam in NYC, Novak Djokovic won his 24th Slam”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    I’m so happy for Coco and so excited for tennis because of what she brings. Her talent and heart are everything that sport needs. She really is an inspiration. Novak annoys me and I can never bring myself to root for him.

  2. Christine says:

    Coco played so well, she is so aggressive and composed now! she is also still a kid, talking about her love of anime and making Tik Toks. I hope she maintains that balance. Her parents seem absolutely amazing. I’m glad she found the coaches that work for her. That first round loss in Wimbledon was 💔

    • LaraK says:

      Her family seems wonderful, and so happy they let her figure her stuff out in her own time. Pro at 15 is hard, like really hard, so it makes sense that she would stumble a bit. Everyone loves a prodigy story, and when she struggled she so easily could have just faded if her family pushed too hard. This is what happens with unwavering support. And I’m sure she has a great career in front of her.

  3. Nlopez says:

    Yay Coco! I’m so happy for her! Here’s to many more wins in the coming years for
    Miss Coco Gauff!! 🥳

  4. Smile says:

    Her speach made me smile for hours!

  5. Jan says:

    Congrats Coco.
    I’m glad you called out the backstabbing tennis commentators, especially Pam, Chris, Mary, John and all the others.

    • Lexilla says:

      @Jan, what have they said against her? Can you share a little more? We saw Coco at Ashe Kids Day and she couldn’t have been more gracious. My daughters and I watched every one of her matches on TV. I’m so happy for her and glad my daughters know about her.

  6. ML says:

    What a great video! Coco’s smile just lights up the place and she has so much grace and class! She did such a great job thanking everyone and sharing a bit of her shine without diminishing herself for anyone. I love how she teased her dad and her brother, was kind to Aryna, and thanked BJK for equal pay at the end. All round champion!

  7. North of Boston says:

    Yay Coco!

  8. Jais says:

    Congrats to Coco🎉

  9. MinorityReport says:

    I’m so happy to see reporting about Coco that isn’t full of comparisons to Serena. Obviously Serena is the GOAT, but let’s let Coco have her moment to shine all on her own. Especially because no one would be comparing her to Serena if they didn’t both have melanin.

  10. HandforthParish says:

    I love Coco! She’s such a good role model for young people. It’s so nice to see an eloquent, socially conscious, composed and mature teenager.
    Not to mention she played an amazing final. Biggest congrats.

  11. tamsin says:

    Such poise and what a great match. Can’t stop smiling about her win.

  12. s808 says:

    I teared up when Coco cried! I’m so proud of her, I know she’ll continue to do big things!

  13. SIde Eye says:

    Love her and she makes me so proud! She has a beautiful smile. Keep soaring!

  14. Kirsten says:

    I was really happy that Coco won, but also sad for Aryna — she was so emotional during her speech, and you could tell that she’d put a lot of pressure on herself; second place is absolutely amazing, but it still can’t be easy to get this far and not win.

    I was also disappointed that Medvedev didn’t win the men’s title — I really like him. He’s super fun to watch and played an incredible tournament. I hate Djokovic. On top of being so smug, his playing is just robotic and boring.

  15. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Coco is amazing. And I keep replaying her haters’ speech, because it’s just*chef’s kiss.

    Aryna was really distraught. I don’t know what she’s going through but her jokes about firing her coaches didn’t sit well with me, her “jokingly” chastising the NY crowd, and then going into the locker room, unzipping her sports bag, carefully removing her tennis racket, and then slamming it beyond recognition on the floor, then definitively dropping it in the trash can, was perhaps more indicative of what she really felt and her true temperament. She’s entitled to be a mean and ungracious player, but don’t pretend for the cameras and try to hide it behind a facade of congeniality. Let it loose!

  16. manda says:

    I love Coco! But I actually thought the haters part of her speech was odd–who has been hating on her or saying she can’t achieve this? All the talk I heard was that she was probably going to win and everyone loved her

    • Carina says:

      A lot of people in the tennis thread from reddit and on tennisforum. Some tennis fans are very judgemental.

  17. Coco says:

    I’m so happy for Coco and I’m loving all the Coco content on my TikTok timeline .

  18. Chantal says:

    I watched the US Open and was incredibly proud to see 4 African-American in the quarterfinals for the first time in history (Frances Tiafoe, Coco, and Madison Keys and Ben Shelton who are both biracial. I was rooting for Maddy to make it to the finals and felt for her when she lost. Her fiance is now her coach and they’re so cute together. It was great to see so many great American tennis players do well at the US Open (we hadn’t been doing too well in the majors). I also felt bad for Taylor Fritz and Frances when they lost. They all had a great run though.

    I was disappointed that Ben Shelton (who came out of nowhere) in the semifinals and Medvedev in the championship match couldn’t take down Novak (even though I rooted for Carlos Alcaraz in the semis) . But I think Ben with that incredible fast serve (fastest at 149mph, Andy Roddick had the fastest at 152mph) and speed has a very bright future. Unfortunately, he and Taylor Townsend didn’t win in mixed doubles either.

    It was good seeing Naomi Osaka in the crowd watching the semis and they acknowledged her when doing the on court interview with Coco when she won. Looking forward to Naomi’s return. The USTA was so stupid and ignorant to not let American Naomi play for them. But she’s also half Japanese so she plays for Japan instead after the USTA’s refusal.

    I was very proud of Coco and she has really improved in many areas. It’s very cute that she, Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe are good friends. Brad Gilbert and Pere Ribas are doing a great job coaching her. Watching her pray, it was obvious how important faith is to that family. Her parents seem really wonderful and kudos to them for recognizing that Coco needed help to get to the next level. Most parents wouldn’t relinquish that much control over their teenager that soon. And it’s good to see someone so young seem so grounded. I

    Love how Coco thanked Billie Jean King for fighting for equal pay in prize money. Venus Williams was also a very vocal advocate for equal pay and although she is seldom mentioned, she got a lot of flak directed at her from some of the male players bc she was actively playing during that campaign. The men smartly didn’t dare say anything against legendary BJK who led the campaign though. Still, I’m excited for Coco and her bright future! Congrats Coco and enjoy your $3 million prize money.

  19. Well wisher says:

    Congrats to the Winners, Coco especially!!

  20. Poppy says:

    How funny was it that Moderna was the main sponsor and unvaccinated Novak won the whole thing.

  21. jferber says:

    You go, Coco!!!! Here’s to a long and illustrious career!!!!