32 Comments

Your insights on the women’s final and Coco in particular, were especially compelling and beautifully told.

What has really stayed with me is Gauff’s extraordinary poise these last few, post- Wimbledon months.

I was fortunate to see Sabalenka play live earlier this year and could not believe the power and fury in her shots. Repeatedly. Yes, her game has one speed but it’s mighty.

After an opening set that seemed to leave one of the fastest players flat footed, Coco absorbed so much of Sabalenka’s power. She then shifted the momentum with her own shots and mental toughness.

It was impressive in the moment and in the annual letdown that grips us now.

It feels like she and Alcaraz are both generational and transformational players ushering in what we hope will be another golden era. As (I think) Rafa said, the tennis story goes on as the players chase the ball around the world. The sun never sets on the tennis empire.

I love the idea of a new ‘Season on the Brink’ that covers the women suggested in an earlier comment by Kristin Huckshorn. Feinstein gets credit for ‘Hard Courts’ too. Mix sports metaphors here.

To quote a frequent attendant at this year’s US Open, you too seem to write like you are running out of time. That you produce so much — on deadline still!— is deeply appreciated. Many thanks.

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More times than one might admit to their faces.

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Didn’t understand why Aryna didn’t attack her backhand more. Coco was constantly out position and Aryna had the whole line open. That being said, Coco is a joy to watch. She seems in no way entitled and that is so refreshing in today sports.

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Chris, again thank you for another insightful analysis of Coco’s first slam title. She impressed me beyond measure given how Sabalenka started out, retaining her poise and pulling out some of the highest level defensive tennis I’ve seen. What grit and maturity! I hope Aryna achieving World #1 will console her in the coming days, because her collapse was painful to watch and will likely haunt her for awhile. Overall, two immensely talented ladies with very bright futures.

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I sent a copy of the Coco Time to a dear friend in New York State - who happens, also, to be quite a good, prrofessional astrologer.

He brief comments on Coco time andf Ms Gauff's coming of age:

"She is a Superstar for sure !

Pisces Sun,

Mercury Aries,

Moon Sagittarius

I felt she would have the Aries and Sagittarius....

I have no birth time for her but I have a feeling her

Ascendant might be Sagittarius ?

Birth time anyone?

What a super young woman.

What a match.

Trevor Chenery

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founding

This is such a beautifully nuanced tale of Coco and her slam victory - really a mini biography. I’m waiting to read your first book on women in tennis, a woman tennis player, or women in sports. Being an athletic female myself I love to hear more and more about how women deal with playing sports. Thank you!

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Was it Federer who said once he didn’t mind his opponent targeting his weaker side because it just helped it improve? Watching this match it seemed to be happening in real time for Coco. Her poise is perhaps the most remarkable part of her game, including being able to tell Gilbert to hush up in that previous match. Loved your analysis and the match!

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I would also add that Sabalenka’s first serve (a major weapon) percentage had to have been low all tournament…she got by on a greatly improved 2nd serve but I always suspected her first serve would come back to haunt at some pt…Serena escaped a million jams with a devastating first serve…and when Coco started playing crazy defense, Sabalenka’s answer was to hit harder…that, strategically, did not work-clearly

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Great story on deadline! Fun to relive it and learn more. I really did not think she’d come back against Sabalenka and was blown away by her fortitude in doing so. I am usually not an Aryna fan as I find it hard to root for anyone from Belarus but she’s such an open book; you feel her pain and vulnerability. It’s all great for women’s tennis. I know you have an actual family at home and can’t trot off around the world for a year but if ever there was a year to do a Season on the Brink book on women’s tennis it’s now!

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Aryna has proven -beyond doubt- she came come from behind…her ability to be a front runner and consolidate momentum remains a work in progress…despite Coco’s insane scrambling and tremendous defense, Sabalenka should have put the hammer down in 2nd and importantly not let the intensely partisan crowd back into it..kudos to a very classy Gauff for handling everything much better

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Due to a family commitment, I could only watch the first set. And boy, Sabalenka was pretty awesome, and Coco was a bit tight, but my view of it was that Aryna was just on fire, moving Coco back and forth into the corners. I was wondering how Gauff could turn it around.

What I'm thinking now, not having a chance to watch a rerun of the match yet, is that Coco's great coverage and defensive ability required Sabelenka to maintain that precision, which is heck of a lot to ask. And ultimately, she couldn't. Aryna's strengths and flaws stand out in high relief, especially now that her serve isn't killing her so much, and she earned the number one ranking with her consistent play this season. She still can tighten up her game and get better. Whatever disappointment she has after the match, she should be proud of her 2023.

As for Gauff, being able to watch things finally come together for her, while knowing she hasn't reached her ceiling, is really exciting. Unlike some other young players who've one their first major and not come close since, it sure looks like, if she stays healthy, Gauff will be a contender for quite a while. While we had another season where there were four different major winners on the women's tour, it's starting to feel like we have some players who, along with Swiatek, are going to win multiple majors, and the rivalries are building up. 2024 should be a great season.

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Sabalenka made a lot of errors but in the scheme of things I don’t think it mattered because Coco in her court coverage handled everything Sabalenka she tried. Nothing worked and she got frustrated. Her time out was an attempt to change the conversation. It worked temporarily. I don’t blame her for trying it. It wasn’t meant to be for Sabalenka. It was Coco’s day. Halfway through the third set, I think even Sabalenka recognized that. I see on line that some are saying Coco is the next Serena. That’s a disservice to her. Let her be her own person, and not to have live with those expectations.

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This is an excellent piece, especially on deadline. You captured the importance of her family, her poise, her cool, great quotes from Brad Gilbert (who I always thought was kind of a jerk but clearly one hell of a coach) and the key points in the match. I was also glad you included how she called out the doubters and that you called out Sabalenka on that “dubious” medical timeout. Nice work. Glad I subscribed.

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Was fortunate to see Coco three times in DC (Baptiste, Bencic, Sakkari) as part of her epic run. Watching, in person or on tv, her ability to problem solve in real time is both a great joy and inspiring.

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It’s too heartbreaking to root for tennis players and then they implode. No more, for this tennis fan.

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