Coco Gauff went viral over the weekend for her prayer after winning her first major title at the U.S. Open tennis championships.
Gauff dropped to her knees in prayer after she defeated Aryna Sabalenka in a three-set thriller Saturday night for her first Grand Slam title at just 19 years old in New York City.
SportsCenter said she “took a moment to soak it all in,” but former NFL coach Tony Dungy responded on X, “I hate to break this to you SportsCenter but Coco Gauff was not ‘soaking it all in’ at this moment. She was praying. She has been very open about her Christian faith in the past. It seems pretty obvious what she is doing here.”
Gauff was quick to talk about how much her faith carried her to victory.
“Oh my goodness. It means so much to me. I feel like I’m a little bit in shock in this moment,” Gauff told ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez. “That French Open loss was a heartbreak for me. I realized God puts you through tribulations and trials. This makes this moment even more sweeter than I could imagine.
“I don’t pray for results. I just ask that I get the strength to give it my all. Whatever happens, happens. I’m so blessed in this life. I’m just thankful for this moment. I don’t have any words for it, to be honest.”
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“Best speech I’ve heard at the U.S. Open,” one person commented on YouTube, quoting Gauff, “‘I don’t pray for results…I pray for the strength to give it my AL.'”
She opened up about the viral moment of prayer Monday on the “TODAY” show on NBC.
“I was just saying thank you, and I understood all the tough times were just to make that moment even sweeter,” Gauff said. “I think if it came easy, I wouldn’t feel as appreciative as I did in that moment, clearly.”