Coco Gauff claims first WTA title after beating former French Open champion in Linz final
Coco Gauff is celebrating her first ever WTA crown after she beat Jelena Ostapenko in the final of the Linz Open, becoming the youngest player in 15 years to win a title.
The 15-year-old caught the eye at Wimbledon earlier this year by beating Venus Williams before powering her way to the last 16, and she was able to vanquish former French Open winner Ostapenko 6-3 1-6 6-2 in Austria.
Gauff had only made the main draw as a lucky loser after being beaten by Tamara Korpatsch in qualifying but made the most of her chance by beating Stefanie Vogele, Kateryna Kozlova, top seed Kiki Bertens and Andrea Petkovic to reach the final.
A break of serve in the second game was enough for her to take the opening set against Ostapenko, but the Latvian hit back with three breaks in a rapid-fire second set.
Gauff roared into a 5-0 lead in the third and though she let two match points slip away when serving for the match at 5-1, she took her third on a Hawk-Eye challenge to break Ostapenko’s serve in the next game.
That brought a beaming smile from the youngster, who looked as though she could hardly believe her achievement as she celebrated with her family and training team.
Britain’s Heather Watson was earlier beaten in the Tianjin Open final as Rebecca Peterson won her second WTA title.
The Swede, who opened her account by winning last month’s Jiangxi Open, recovered from an early break in each set to win 6-4 6-4 in an hour and 38 minutes.
Watson broke serve in the second game but was immediately pegged back by the world number 59, who broke again in game nine before closing the set out 6-4 in just under an hour with a fine forehand winner.
Watson responded and began the second set in the same fashion as the first, with a break in game two – but once again she immediately squandered the lead, this time after a double fault to set up break point.
She was broken again in her next service game to trail 3-2, which became 5-3 to leave Watson serving to stay in the match.
She did so, forcing Peterson to serve it out, but a comfortable hold to 15 completed a straight-sets win.
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