Teen star Coco Gauff won her maiden Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title on Sunday following a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 win over Jelena Ostapenko in the final at Linz. The American star has held her first trophy aloft aged 15.
With her recent victory in front of a supportive crows at Linz, Gauff became the youngest player to win a WTA event since Czech Nicole Vaidisova, who triumphed in Vancouver and Tashkent two months apart in 2004.
“I’ll remember this day for the rest of my life. I had an amazing week and I hope to be back in the future,” Gauff said.
Her victory will see a direct impact on the rankings. Gauff will shoot up from 110 in the rankings into the 80s, according to WTA calculations, after becoming the youngest American to earn a WTA trophy since Jennifer Capriati at Toronto 1991, nearly three decades ago.
There was plenty of hype surrounding Gauff after her splendid performances at both Wimbledon and the US Open, where she was defeated in the third round by defending champion Noami Osaka, and her displays in Linz have enthralled tennis fans.
In the final on Sunday, Gauff had to come back after sweeping the opening set but losing serve three times in the second as 2017 Roland Garros winner Ostapenko levelled.
She bounced back in the third set, going up two breaks before her opponent managed to save a pair of match points while trailing 5-1.
Ostapenko asserted herself with a break to make the score 5-2 in the third but was unable to extend her fightback, Gauff closing out victory a game later as Hawk-Eye electronic linecalling ruled an Ostapenko return long on the third match point. “Well done today to Coco,” Ostapenko said.
“You have a bright future, it was a pleasure to share the court with you today. This has been a tough week for me, but I’m so glad to have made it to the final, even if the result was not what I wanted.”
Gauff will next play in Luxembourg which will be her final leg of the WTA season.