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With Linz Open semis win, Coco Gauff becomes youngest WTA finalist in 15 years

Coco Gauff, with a win over Andrea Petkovic in the Linz Open semifinals, has added another milestone to her young career.

The 15-year-old is the youngest tennis player to be a WTA finalist in 15 years, according to Tennis.com.

Gauff took down Petkovic in a pair of 6-4 sets in the semifinals in Austria. That follows a quarterfinals win over top-seeded Kiki Bertens 7-6 (1), 6-4 on Friday, the first top-10 win for Gauff.

She was also the youngest woman to reach the semifinals since Nicole Vaidisova in 2004. Vaidisova won the Tashkent Open that year.

Gauff initially wasn’t even slotted into the main draw. She lost in the qualifying rounds but got in when a different player had to pull out due to injury, according to CNN.

“First time in my life, even in juniors, that I got into something as a lucky loser and now I’m in the final,” Gauff said to CNN. “I guess every little thing counts and you never know what it can lead to.”

On Sunday, Gauff will take on Jelena Ostapenko for the championship. Ostapenko won the 2017 French Open.

If Gauff wins, she would be the first American woman to win a WTA championship in 28 years, according to Tennis.com.


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