On Saturday (September 9), Gauff won her first-ever Grand Slam, claiming a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win against Aryna Sabalenka in the U.S. Open final.
Gauff called out the people who doubted her during her post-match interview at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“Honestly, thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me,” Gauff said. “Like a month ago, I won a 500 title and people said I would stop at that. Two weeks ago, I won a 1000 title and people were saying that was the biggest I was going to get. So three weeks later, I’m here with this trophy right now. I tried my best to carry this with grace and I’ve been doing my best.
“So honestly, to those who thought [they] were putting water on my fire, you’re really adding gas to it," she continued. "And now I’m really burning so bright right now.”
Aside from the critics, Gauff received widespread support on social media from fans, six-time U.S. Open champion Serena Williams, and the Obamas.
"So proud of you, @CocoGauff! Your hard work and grit was on display throughout this tournament. This is your moment!" Michelle Obama tweeted.