Published: Sat, October 19, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Gauff grabs first title, defeats Ostapenko in Linz final

Gauff grabs first title, defeats Ostapenko in Linz final

American teenage sensation Coco Gauff became the youngest player to win a WTA title in 15 years as she beat former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the Linz Open final on Sunday in Austria.

The hype surrounding the youngster has grown this year after solid performances this summer at both Wimbledon and the US Open, where she was defeated in the third round by defending champion Naomi Osaka, and her displays in Linz have enthralled tennis fans. Already guaranteed to make her Top 100 debut after her first couple of wins this week, Gauff is projected to rise inside the Top 75 in the WTA rankings on Monday.

She became the youngest player to win a WTA event since Czech Nicole Vaidisova, who triumphed in Vancouver and Tashkent, Uzbekistan two months apart in 2004.

Gauff entered the tournament as a lucky loser after she replaced injured No. 6 seed Maria Sakkari. "I guess it's insane to say it's my first WTA title", Gauff told reporters.

"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 insane". I'm playing doubles there also (with regular partner Caty McNally).

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Gauff's career timetable has suddenly shifted into overdrive, with her breakthrough WTA trophy coming much more quickly than might have been expected.

"My goal was the top 100 and to get into the main draw of at least one Grand Slam", said Gauff, who has earned a main-draw spot for January's Australian Open.

"I wanted to leave the court because I lost", Gauff said of the moment during a September interview on Today.

"I'm new to the Tour and I've not faced a lot of the players".

"I'll remember this day for the rest of my life", the delighted Gauff said after receiving a minutes-long standing ovation from 3 000 spectators.

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