Earlier today, Gauff’s semi-final match against the Italian player Martina Trevisan was finished in just two sets, 6-3 6-1. With her win, 18-year-old Gauff becomes the youngest woman to reach a Grand Slam final in 18 years; her most recent predecessor is Maria Sharapova, who reached the Wimbledon finals in 2004 at age 17.
While Gauff’s victory over Trevisan was somewhat foreseeable—the latter player is currently unseeded, and her ascent to the semi-finals has been described as a Cinderella run—a series of unforced errors got the match got off to a rocky start. Yet once the second set rolled around, and Gauff broke Trevisan’s serve in a masterful 14-minute game, her dominance was clear.
Today’s match should serve as a major point of pride in Gauff’s short but thrilling career thus far. She might not have had as splashy a rise to the top ranks of tennis as some of her peers, but her journey has been seriously impressive all the same.
She’s also matched her power on the court with a devotion to using her platform to advocate for political causes. Gauff delivered a powerful speech in support of the Black Lives Matter movement at a 2020 protest in her hometown of Delray Beach, Florida, following the killing of George Floyd, while this March, she spoke out against the “don’t say gay” bill introduced in Florida, arguing that “for me, who has friends in the LGBTQ+ community, I couldn’t imagine not being able to talk about your identity. I feel that’s something that is normal.”