"We couldn’t be prouder of you on and off the court - and we know the best is yet to come," Obama wrote on Instagram
Coco Gauff’s U.S. Open win caught the attention of not one, but two U.S. presidents.
On Saturday, Gauff became the youngest American to win the tournament in over two decades — since Serena Williams won in 1999 — and both President Joe Biden and Barack Obama congratulated the tennis star on her victory.
President Biden, 80, shared a message of support for the young athlete on X (formerly known as Twitter).
"Congrats to U.S. Open Champion @CocoGauff,” he wrote. “You electrified Arthur Ashe stadium and the entire nation – the first of more to come and proof that anything is possible if you never give up and always believe.”
"You’ve made America so proud,” he concluded.
Barack, 62, also had kind words for Gauff, which he shared on Instagram.
“Congratulations to US Open champion, @CocoGauff!” he wrote. “We couldn’t be prouder of you on and off the court - and we know the best is yet to come.”
The former first lady, 59, also shared the group photo on Instagram, alongside which she wrote: “So proud of you, @CocoGauff! Your hard work and grit was on display throughout this tournament. This is your moment!”
After her post-victory press conference on Saturday, Gauff reacted to the support she has received from the Obamas and other celebrities who openly rooted for her throughout the tournament.
“The support I have gotten is incredible. Obviously from President Obama and former First Lady Michelle is crazy,” she told reporters, noting that the former first couple attended her first-round match and she is “a different person now.”
Gauff went on to say that she “saw pretty much every celebrity they showed on that screen.”
"I've been looking at it the whole night — or all week, two weeks, I've been looking at it from the first round till now,” she continued. “Some of those people I've actually met before. I saw Madelyn Cline was here. I did a little shoot with her. I was like, ‘Oh, that's cool.’”
She continued: “I've been embracing everyone. It doesn't make me more nervous.”
“Honestly, it helps me keep my mind off the match,” she said, adding that when stars are in the audience she thinks: “Okay, I have got to win in front of these people.”
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Though Gauff said she noticed members of the U.S. Secret Service during her first-round match, she did not realize the Obamas were present.
After securing a win over Laura Siegemund, Gauff told reporters that she initially thought either President Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden or President Bill Clinton were in attendance, not the Obamas.
"I didn't see them in the presidential box," Gauff said. "I was obviously looking at that, but they weren't, I guess, in my eyeline.”
After the former first lady made a surprise speech following the heated match, Gauff learned that Michelle wanted to meet her — and was shocked when Barack joined her as well.
"Then Mr. Obama was there in the room too. I was like, 'Oh, my God,'" Gauff told reporters. "I haven't soaked it in because I literally just walked in here. I think I'm going to never forget that moment for the rest of my life.”
“I went from being really upset after a win to being really happy,” she continued. “So I'm glad I got to meet them. They gave me some good advice too.”
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