Nov. 6 (UPI) — American teen tennis phenom Coco Gauff is proud of herself after a breakthrough year, citing the “darkest and brightest” days of her life in a social media post Monday after the end of her 2023 season.
“It’s hard to sum up this season in a few words,” Gauff wrote on Instagram, X and Facebook. “I saw my darkest and brightest days of my life this year. I probably grew enough for 10 lifetimes between January and now.
Gauff’s season ended with a straight-sets loss to fellow American Jessica Pegula in the semifinals of the WTA Finals on Saturday in Cancun, Mexico.
The 19-year-old from Delray Beach, Fla., started the season as the No. 7 player in the WTA singles rankings. She jumped to No. 6 on Jan. 30 and No. 3 in September, after winning her first Grand Slam singles title at the 2023 U.S. Open.
Gauff won her first title of the year in January, beating Rebeka Masarova of Spain in the ASB Classic.
She then won her first WTA 500-level title in August at the Washington Open and then the Cincinnati Open in August, earning her first WTA 1000 title.
Less than a month later, Gauff beat No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the U.S. Open final, becoming the first American teen to win the Grand Slam since Serena Williams in 1999.
She earned nearly $6 million in prize money during her breakout season.
“I usually don’t say this, but I am learning to be nicer to myself,” Gauff said. “I get questioned all the time by family, press and ya’ll for not saying this, but yes, I am proud of myself.
“I am proud of the resilience showed. They really tried to count me out, but it is all in God’s plan and his timing.”
The 2024 season begins in January. Main draw play for the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam on the annual tennis calendar, will start Jan. 16 in Melbourne.