No.3 seed Coco Gauff captured her first WTA 500 title after defeating No.4 Maria Sakkrari 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Mubadala Citi DC Open. The 19-year-old American capped off a resurgent week in the nation's capital, where she did not lose a set to take home her fourth career title and second of the season.
Gauff is the youngest champion in the history of the tournament. She is the third American to win the event, joining her doubles partner Jessica Pegula (2019) and Sloane Stephens (2015). She is the first teenager to win four or more titles since Caroline Wozniacki.
To win her first title on home soil, Gauff defeated Hailey Baptiste in her opening round before ousting three seeded players in sixth seed Belinda Bencic, defending champion Liudmila Samsonova and Sakkari. Her win over No.9 Sakkari was her second Top 10 win of the season.
Sakkari entered the final with a 4-1 edge on Gauff in their head-to-head series. Both players were looking to set aside their Wimbledon disappointments, where both bowed out in the first round.
In their first meeting of the season, Gauff came out firing to build a 3-0 lead and was a point away from a double-break advantage. Sakkari closed the gap to 3-2 before Gauff snuffed out her comeback attempt and won the last four games of the set.
Gauff's improved serving throughout the week proved the difference in the final. Sakkari was able to break the American three times, but when the American needed a cheap point under pressure, her serve came through. Gauff won 72% of her first-serve points compared to Sakkari's 46%, and 43% of her second-serve points to Sakkari's 33%. Gauff finished the week with a tournament-leading 25 aces.
Gauff credited her work with new coach Pere Riba and Brad Gilbert for her improved serving and aggression throughout the week.
"It's our first tournament as a full team," Gauff said on court. "I'm glad that we were able to make this result. I know those who were with me at Wimbledon it was really tough a couple of weeks ago. We were all feeling it. I'm glad I was able to bounce back."
Sakkari was able to ratchet up the pressure in the second set, breaking Gauff in the opening game but was unable to fend off Gauff on serve. Gauff generated 10 break points across the match and broke serve six times.
Along with her strong serving week, Gauff credited the improvement on her forehand for her successful week.
"The biggest takeaway, I think that it's pretty clear what everybody's going to play, how everybody's going to play me on the scouting report," Gauff said. "I think that consistently this week I have beaten that scouting report, and I think that's why the players tend to get a little more frustrated."
Despite the loss, Sakkari was proud of her efforts in her Washington D.C. debut, where she tallied her first Top 5 win of the season over No.4 Jessica Pegula.
"It was an incredible week," Sakkari said on court. "I'm not going to lie, it's pretty disappointing. But at the same time, a month ago I didn't think I would be here."
Gauff and Sakkari now head to Montreal for the Omnium Banque Nationale, which begins on Monday.
2020 US Open champions Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva took home the doubles title on Saturday, defeating Alexa Guarachi and Monica Niculescu 6-4, 6-4 in the final. The victory is the team's fourth title together and first since 2022.