‘Coco’ Gauff equals records on her way to first WTA title

Fast-rising American tennis superstar Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff beams with her Linz Open trophy after a convincing final in Austria on Sunday (Photo: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [CBC])

Young American tennis sensation, Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff has closed the top 75 women’s rankings, as she beat former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the Linz Open final on Sunday.

In a stellar performance, Coco Gauff became the youngest player to win a senior Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title in 15 years.

As a result of her historic triumph, Gauff has leaped up an astonishing 39 spots on the WTA rankings to become the new world number 71.

At 15, Coco is the youngest to win a WTA title in 15 years. Somewhat poetic! (Photo: Tennis.com)

The 15-year-old lucky loser enjoyed a memorable week at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz, in which she defeated her first WTA Top 10 player in the form of Kiki Bertens, before going on to seal her maiden tour trophy to overcoming 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

“I’m still overwhelmed and shocked,” Gauff told reporters. “I guess it’s crazy to say it’s my first WTA title.”

“This was definitely not on the calendar at the beginning of the year, because I didn’t think I’d have a chance to get in, and now I’m the champion, so it’s crazy,” she added.

Gauff in action on Sunday’s topsy-turvy Linz Open final against 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in Austria (Photo: Tennis.com)

Supercharged talent

Gauff, who was coached by a Jamaican, became the youngest winner on tour since Czech Republic’s Nicole Vaidisova won, aged 15, in Tashkent in 2004.

The 15-year-old Gauff, who started the season ranked well outside the world’s top 600, concluded a remarkable week – having gone from failing to win her qualifier, to entering the main draw as a lucky loser.

“Words can’t describe how I feel right now. Winning my first WTA title has always been a dream of mine,” Gauff wrote on Instagram.

The young tennis powerhouse also becomes the youngest player to break into the top 100 rankings since Bulgaria’s Sesil Karatantcheva achieved the feat in 2005, at age 15.

‘Coco’, with her win on Sunday, is automatically qualified for the Australian Open’s main draw in January 2020.