Published: Sun, October 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Gauff downs Petkovic to reach first WTA final

Gauff downs Petkovic to reach first WTA final

Gauff saved nine of 10 break points.

But the teenager's extraordinary year is far from over, as her 6-4, 6-4 victory over Andrea Petkovic in the Upper Austria Ladies Linz semifinal on Saturday means she will now make her debut in a tour final.

Gauff and Bertens each held serve in the first set, but Gauff dominated the tiebreaker, jumping out to a 6-1 lead on points before ending the set on a forehand victor.

"This is my first final and first tournament on the WTA ever making it to anything "final" at the end, like quarterfinal or semifinal", Gauff told reporters. The Latvian converted her first set point in the next game with an ace, and the match was level.

"This is insane. I thought I was out in qualifying and now I'm here".

Gauff, who stunned world No. 8 Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals, was forced to save a pair of break points in the first game but immediately got stuck in to the Ostapenko serve, opening up a 3-0 lead.

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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. "This is definitely unreal, my first final on the WTA".

Ostapenko then got one of the breaks back and Gauff received coaching advice from her father, who said: "You're not going to sprint to the finish line, we're going to walk there".

And yes, the fans have taken to Gauff in Linz, too.

Gauff showed plenty of variety in her game against her opponent.

Her ranking will climb from its current 110th to around 80th even if she loses Sunday to 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, meaning Gauff will earn a direct spot into the next grand slam, January's Australian Open, instead of having to go through qualifying or needing a wildcard.

Gauff was elated after the victory.

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