After Gauff came out strong to beat Aryna Sabalenka 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, news quickly flooded into the social media platform formerly known as Twitter for the first Grand Slam title of the 19th season -year-old American woman.
“We couldn’t be prouder of you on and off the field – and we know the best is yet to come.” Barack Obama wrote.
Obama and his wife, Michelle, were at Arthur Ashe Stadium on opening night as Gauff cruised to a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Laura Siegemund. They met her after the match, whereupon a Tribute to Billie Jean King as part of the US Open’s 50th anniversary celebrations, becoming the first sporting event to offer equal prize money to female and male participants.
“The support I have received is incredible,” said Gauff. “Of course Michelle is crazy about President Obama and the former first lady for being at my first-round game, and now I’m a different person.”
Gauff and her parents also received a congratulatory call from President Joe Biden, who was in New Delhi for the Group of 20 summit.
Gauff thanked King for leading the fight for prize money as she accepted her $3 million prize. King responded to a tweet that showed a video of the moment, writing, “This generation is it Living the dream of the original 9“,” referring to herself and the other women who signed $1 contracts in 1970 to create a women’s professional circuit.
Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson congratulated Gauff and praised her parentsand wrote, “Corey and Candi, they did an outstanding job!”
And Gauff received high praise from his fellow competitors, with 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens telling her: “My girl, you are amazing!!!!”