Teenage star, Coco Gauff reaches maiden WTA final

Jose Verdugo
Octubre 12, 2019

American teenage sensation Coco Gauff reached the first WTA final of her career on Saturday as the 15-year-old beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-4 in the last four in Linz.

She missed one match point as the German hung in there, but converted her second to become the youngest finalist at a WTA event since Nicole Vaidisova, the 2004 Tashkent victor.

"This is insane", Gauff added after winning in 92 minutes.

"I've had a lot of luck and happiness here".

Gauff originally wasn't in the main draw of the tournament, but snuck in as a "lucky loser" after another player pulled out due to an injury, CNN reported. "Linz is my special place".

"Not even in juniors did I ever get into something as a lucky loser - now I'm in the final".

Gauff will now play former French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in Sunday's final.

This is Gauff's first WTA tournament since she lost to Naomi Osaka in an emotional match at the U.S. Open in August.

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Gauff showed great defense and mixed up her game impressively, making Petkovic pay for a double fault which gave the teenager a 3-2 advantage in the second set.

Gauff became a crowd favorite and household name at Wimbledon in July when she qualified, then beat one of her idols, Venus Williams, as part of a weeklong stay at tennis' most prestigious grand slam.

"But honestly, I'm just grateful that I've been given the platform and I hope that I'm able to use this platform in the right way", Gauff added.

Now ranked 110th, Gauff showed real determination to save nine out of the 10 break points she faced, before she sealed victory on her second match point.

The youngest-ever victor of a WTA Tour title was two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin, aged just 14, at Portland back in 1977.

The Florida native, set to move into the top 100 in the rankings on Monday, won 71 percent of points on her second serve and broke new ground when she put away a textbook volley.

"This is insane, I thought I was out of the tournament in qualifying", said the American.

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