Teenage star Gauff reaches maiden WTA final

  • Teenage star Gauff reaches maiden WTA final

Teenage star Gauff reaches maiden WTA final

Coco Gauff is remarkably through to her maiden tour-level WTA final at the tender age of 15 after defeating Germany's Andrea Petkovic in the semi-final of the Linz Open.

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.

Good fortune then for Gauff but there was no luck involved as she stunned top-seed Kiki Bertens Friday to post a first top-10 victory. "My first final, a lot of firsts for me here, so I hope I can keep this going".

Her feat has been made even more incredible by the fact she only qualified for the tournament as a lucky loser, after an injury to former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber. "Linz is my special place".

"This is actually the first time in my life, including juniors, that I got into something as a lucky loser, and now I'm in the final", said Gauff.

The current world number 110 is set to climb to at least 80th in the rankings next week.

In the final on Sunday, the girl from Florida will play either former French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko of Lativa or Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova.

"I was fighting for every point, even at break points down, I just tried to get the serve in and make her play a point".

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.

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

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.

Her mother arrived in time to watch her daughter, flying in from Luxembourg after arriving from Florida.

Limited in the number of WTA events she can play due to her age, Linz marked Gauff's first tournament since NY and she fell in qualifying to Tamara Korpatsch.