The 14-year-old, who counts Sloane Stephens as a close friend, stormed towards the trophy showdown without dropping a set in Paris, but became embroiled in an almighty battle on the ‘Bullring’ No.1 Court.
“Obviously I'm very excited and happy, because this is my first time in my first main draw Roland-Garros. It was a tough fight, but at the end it was worth it,” reflected Gauff, claiming her runners-up run in New York provided the platform for major success today.
“It definitely helped me, because I was nervous. I remember being nervous at the US Open where I couldn't really play,” added the American referring to the 6-2 6-0 defeat at the hands of compatriot Amanda Anisimova. “Even though I was nervous, I just told myself to keep fighting.”
McNally, who helped the USA win the Junior Fed Cup title last autumn, put in a pulsating start to race to the opening set with just 24 minutes on the clock.