By Evangelical Focus, September 11, 2023
Cori (Coco) Gauff, the big sensation of tennis, has finally won her first major title, the US Open.
The 19-year-old US American beat Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3 and 6-2 to win her first Grand Slam. Gauff became the first teenager to win the tournament since tennis star Serena Williams, over two decades ago. In June, she lost in the final the chance to win her first Roland Garros (the French Grand Slam).
The championship moment as heard on US Open radio 🎙️⤵️ pic.twitter.com/PzB4dTTQJo
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2023
One of the images of the final game was when Coco, after running to hug her parents, went back to court, kneeled next to her chair and spent some seconds in prayer.
Later, at the ceremony, she told the crowd: “I feel like I’m in shock. That French Open loss was a heartbreak for me. But I realize that God puts you through tribulations and trials and this makes this moment even sweeter than I can imagine.”
Coco Gauff spoke about her faith in God after winning the US Open:
“Oh my goodness. It means so much to me. I feel like I’m in shock. That French Open loss was a heartbreak. I realized God puts you through trials. This makes this moment even sweeter than I could imagine. I don’t… pic.twitter.com/5Lkbz9F2gU
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 9, 2023
The interviewer asked: “We saw you get on your knees and say a prayer, how important has been your faith for you?”
Gauff went on: “It has been very important. I don’t pray for results, I pray that I get the strength to give my all, and whatever happens, happens. I am so blessed in this life.”
Gauff entered the professional tennis circles in 2018, aged 14. One year later, she told The New York Times: “Before every match since I was 8, my dad and I say a prayer together (…) We don’t really pray about victory, just that me and my opponent stay safe. After the match, I was just thanking God for this opportunity.”
Fam photo. pic.twitter.com/cxOG65LulW
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 10, 2023
In August, after winning the DC Open in Washington D.C., she posted on Instagram the verse Philippians 4:13.
Speaking after the final, she said: “First, I’d like to thank my Father. After losing in first-round Wimbledon [the English Grand Slam] it was a tough situation (…) You know, a lot of prayer and a lot of support from my church family. So thank you to Him and those who support me.”
The young tennis star has been praised as a positive role model for young people, for showing respect towards her rivals and for her commitment with social causes.
According to Evangélico Digital, she attends a Baptist church in Florida with her parents.
Editor’s note: This article was republished from Evangelical Focus under a Creative Commons license.