CINCINNATI, Ohio -- No.7 Coco Gauff defeated No.17 Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the Western & Southern Open to win her second hard-court title of the summer and third of the season. Gauff, 19, is the youngest champion in the tournament's history.
Having won Auckland in January and Washington D.C. two weeks ago, Gauff is now the first teenager to win three titles in a season since Bianca Andreescu in 2019. She is the first teenager to win five career titles since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009.
Since the tournament was reinstated in 2004, Gauff is the fourth American champion in Cincinnati, joining Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, and Madison Keys. She will rise one spot in the WTA rankings to No.6 on Monday.
"I'm really happy with how I was able to manage this week," Gauff said. "I got a huge win yesterday, a big one today. Karolina, she's not an easy player. It's really good to see her back at the top. I think she's one of the most talented players on tour."
With No.3 Jessica Pegula winning Montreal last week, this is the first time Americans have swept the WTA 1000s in Canada and Cincinnati. It is the first time Americans won back-to-back WTA 1000s since 2015, when Serena Williams won Cincinnati and Venus Williams won Wuhan.
Since losing in the first round of Wimbledon, Gauff has now won 11 of her last 12 matches, picking up the two biggest titles of her career during that span.
In the first career meeting between the two, Gauff overcame a sluggish start to hold off Muchova's attacking net game to extend her career record to 5-1 in Hologic WTA Tour finals. With steady work from the baseline, Gauff held Muchova to just four winners in the opening set, compounded by 13 unforced errors.
Muchova came into her first WTA 1000 final, having spent over 10 hours on the court, with all her completed matches going a full three sets during the week. After a two-and-a-half-hour effort to upset No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals on Saturday, the 26-year-old struggled to match Gauff's energy.
"I was a little tired coming into the match," Muchova said. "I knew I have to play fast today, not be in the rallies, because it's been many three-setters here for me, long matches, tough matches. To play day after day and not have the day off, it's very physical. In that, I was the worse one today."
Still, Muchova's full fighting qualities were displayed down the stretch. After Gauff earned a double-break advantage to serve out the win at 5-2, Muchova gamely saved three match points to break and close the gap. She then held serve from a 0-30 deficit to force Gauff to close the match.
This time the American did not falter. Gauff held at love to seal her dominant week after 1 hour and 56 minutes. She is the first player since Iga Swiatek to win her first four hard-court finals. Her three titles move her in a tie with No.2 Aryna Sabalenka for the second-most tournament wins this season. Only Swiatek (4) has more.
"Today I really won it off of breaking serve, to be honest," Gauff said. "I wasn't really serving as good as I did against Iga. I don't know if it was nerves. I wasn't that nervous, to be honest. Also a combination of the long match yesterday. I wasn't serving as well.
"I think that's what makes a champion, is how you're doing on the days you aren't feeling so great. I'm glad I was able to push through."
Despite the loss, Muchova will make her Top 10 debut on Monday. Muchova began the season ranked outside the Top 150 and has fought her way up the rankings, highlighted with a run to the French Open final and Cincinnati. She is the seventh player from the Czech Republic since 2000 to crack the Top 10.
"It's always a thing that is in your mind when you play tennis, to make it to Top 10," Muchova said. "It's happening for me tomorrow, so that's really nice result."