‘This has been unreal’ – 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff reaches first WTA final

WTA Tour
Coco Gauff forehand

Coco Gauff continued her incredible rise by reaching first WTA Tour-level final in Linz.

The 15-year-old became the youngest woman since Nicole Vaidisova won a title in Tashkent 15 years ago to make the last four of a tournament by knocking out top seed Kiki Bertens on Friday.

And she was in fine form again to see off German Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-4 and set up a final clash with former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Gauff, who only got into the main draw as a lucky loser after a defeat in qualifying, said on wtatennis.com: “This definitely has been an unreal tournament. My first final, a lot of firsts for me here, so I hope I can keep this going.

“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. I guess every little thing counts. You never know what it could lead to.”

Ostapenko has endured a miserable season and has dropped outside the top 70 but, working with former Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli, this week has seen a resurgence.

Ostapenko took on last year’s runner-up Ekaterina Alexandrova from Russia and recovered from a poor first set to prevail 1-6 7-6 (5) 7-5 to reach her first WTA final since Miami last spring.

Another player who has hit form spectacularly this week is Britain’s Heather Watson, who had only won one tour-level match all year prior to arriving at the Tianjin Open.

A 6-1 6-4 victory over Veronika Kudermetova put Watson through to her fourth WTA final and her first for more than three years.

She has won all her previous three finals and on Sunday will take on Swede Rebecca Peterson, who recovered from losing the first set to love to Ons Jabeur to win 0-6 6-4 7-5 and reach her second WTA final.

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