Coco Gauff will play for her first Grand Slam singles title at the U.S. Open on Saturday.
The 19-year-old American fought past Czech's Karolina Muchova 6-4, 7-5 on Thursday night to book her spot in the final. Gauff now is looking to become the first women's player from the U.S. to lift the trophy in New York since 2017.
"Means a lot to be in the final, a lot to celebrate, but the job is not done," Gauff said after her semifinal win.
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In a tribute to the crowd, Gauff joked, "Some of those points were so loud. I didn't know if my ears were going to be okay."
Guaff rushed out to a 5-1 lead in the first set, taking advantage of Muchova's early match jitters and unforced errors. That lead quickly narrowed to 5-4 after Muchova loosened up. Gauff, with the help of the New York crowd's support, was able to close the set out 6-4.
The second set took an unexpected twist when an environmental protest broke out at 1-0. Players exited the court and resumed play 50 minutes after the protest began.
Gauff and Muchova got back into match mode after a 5 minute warm up. Gauff swiftly found herself a 5-3 lead but again, Muchova battled back to even up the set 5-5. Gauff was able to find her fame and dictate play despite Muchova's incredible defense to secure the second set 7-5.
Gauff will face the winner of American Madison Keys and new world No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka for the title. The semifinal match followed the Gauff-Muchova showdown.
The last time an American woman was in the U.S. Open championship match was in 2019 when Serena Willims fell to Canadian Bianca Andreescu. The last American champion was Sloane Stephens who beat a fellow countrywoman in the final.
The U.S. Open men's semifinal will be played on Friday with the first match between American Ben Shelton and Novak Djokovic set for 3 p.m. ET. The Carlos Alcaraz vs. Daniil Medvedev semifinal is at 7 p.m. ET.
The last time an American man won the U.S. Open was Andy Roddick in 2003.