Coco Gauff splashed herself in the face with water during a pause after losing the first set of the US Open women’s final to Ayna Sabalenka.

And the shock wet awakening worked wonders for the 19-year-old as she fulfilled her tennis dream with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2  comeback victory over the newly crowned world No. 1 to win the home Grand Slam title.

The first American woman to lift the New York trophy since Sloane Stephens in 2017,said she gave herself a serious talking-to in the off-court restroom after dropping the opener to her Eastern European opponent.

“I went to the bathroom because I was nervous. I was washing my hands, I put some water on my face, and I was, like, Okay,
I’ve got to just reset and redo it,” she said.

“I went into this match like it was any other match. I honestly wasn’t nervous going in. 

“She was just playing great tennis, and I knew today was going to be one of those problem-solving tough matches because she’s a tough opponent.

“I’m obviously happy with the result.”

The winner’s accomplishment fulfilled the hopes which accompanied her breakthrough as a young teen who won her first title in Linz in 2019 as a lucky loser from the Austrian qualifying rounds.

Saturday’s victory at Flushing Meadows capped a standout summer hardcourt season for the Florida player, who has surged on cement since losing in the Wimbledon first round.

She picked up a 500 series title in Washington last month and then won Cincinnati a fortnight later to move into position for her Open triumph.

‘When I lost the first set I still felt I was into the match,” she said.  “I said I would  give it my all, whatever happens happens.

“Even on  match point, 40 – love, technically the match was on my racquet. 

“It didn’t feel like I had (almost) won. It was crazy. I was just trying my best to just focus on the point ahead of me.”

Gauff’s Grand Slam title came less than 18 months after she lost the Roland Garros final last season to Iga Swiatek.

“This (2023) French Open (quarter-final finish) is honestly where it changed,” she said.

“I felt pressure to back up the final, and I obviously didn’t. So I had to to reset.  Wimbledon was a tough, tough loss.

“I thought I was playing good tennis leading up to that.”

Gauff said her title performance at Flushing Meadows “wasn’t really a change in the match mentality. I felt like I was playing as good as I could in the moment. 

“She’s a tough power player, you’re always playing on your back foot honestly against her. I was just trying my best.”

Gauff said the match tide turned thanks to support from her home crowd of 24,000 in the Ashe stadium.

“The momentum did shift a little bit when I passed her on the backhandcrosscourt pass and I got the crowd involved, 

“After that I just felt like I knew I was coming home with this (trophy).