Coco Gauff: 15-Year-Old American Beat Jelena Ostapenko to Become Youngest WTA Tour Winner in 42 years
Teenager Coco Gauff has become the youngest player to win a WTA title in 15 years with victory in the Linz Open.
She completed a remarkable weak in Linz as she won her maiden WTA Tour title by beating Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.
Gauff only qualified for the main draw as a lucky loser after losing in the final round of qualifying.
“It has been an amazing week, I hope to come back here again. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life,” said Atlanta-born Gauff.
The 15-year-old, who burst onto the global scene at Wimbledon as the youngest qualifier in the tournament’s history and then made a run to the last 16, will now move way inside the top 100 in the world rankings.
Gauff held off two break points in her opening service game before breaking Ostapenko in the next to take control of the opening set.
But Ostapenko, who has dropped from 22 in the world to 72 in 2019, hit her straps in the second set and started to play the kind of tennis that won her a French Open title two years ago.
The teenager rallied in the decider though, breaking twice to lead 5-0. However, Ostapenko saved two match points and then broke Gauff to love to trail 5-2.
It was never going to be easy and Gauff did double-fault immediately before losing her serve, told by her coach and father that they were going to walk, not run, to the finish line.
He said: “Just relax, you’re not going to sprint to the finish line, you’re going to walk to the finish line.
“Trust your shots. Calm down, take your mind to another place, to a practice match. Just play, don’t think about negatives just think about positives. Yesterday if you know you had 5-2 you’d take that, you’re in control.”
She immediately broke back, winning the match and title when Ostapenko sent a forehand long.