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Coco Gauff beats Jelena Ostapenko in Linz Open to win her first WTA title at 15

Updated

October 14, 2019 11:25:29

Coco Gauff is still just 15. She also is already the owner of a WTA singles title.

Key points:

  • Just over three months ago, Cori “Coco” Gauff was an unheralded teenager ranked 313 in the world
  • She became the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history in July, reaching the fourth round
  • Now she will break into the top 75 after becoming the youngest since Czech player Nicole Vaidisova in 2004 to win her first WTA tour title at 15

The American beat 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in the final of the Linz Open tournament, making Gauff the youngest winner of a singles trophy on the WTA tour since 2004.

“This is a special moment for me,” Gauff said.

And Gauff managed to do it after losing in the last round of qualifying, then moving into the main draw as a “lucky loser” when another player withdrew from the field.

“I’m still overwhelmed and shocked,” Gauff said, according to the WTA’s website. “I guess it’s crazy to say it’s my first WTA title.

“This was definitely not on the calendar at the beginning of the year, because I didn’t think I’d have a chance to get in, and now I’m the champion, so it’s crazy.”

This week’s run — which including a victory over Kiki Bertens for her initial top-10 win — was the latest impressive performance for Gauff, who is now expected to rise inside the top 75 when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday.

She was just 313th when Wimbledon began on July 1.

That’s where she really burst onto the scene as the youngest qualifier in tournament history, then beat five-time champion Venus Williams along the way to making it all the way to the fourth round.

Gauff claimed her first WTA doubles title at Washington in August, pairing with Caty McNally, before getting to the third round in singles at the US Open.

Gauff is now the youngest woman to win a WTA singles championship since Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic earned two by the age of 15 years, five months in 2004.

Ostapenko, who is 22, has been ranked as high as number five and currently is number 72. She has won two tour-level titles, the first coming at Roland Garros two-and-a-half years ago.

AP

Topics:

sport,

tennis,

austria,

united-states

First posted

October 14, 2019 11:18:53

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