Lucky Loser 15-year-old Coco Gauff is the Winner of her First WTA Title
(October 13, 2019) Getting into the main draw of the Linz tournament as a lucky loser, 15-year-old Coco Gauff defeated former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2, to win her first WTA singles title.
The United States’ teen is now the the youngest WTA singles winner since Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic at 15 years, 5 months in 2004 picked up two titles. She’s the youngest American winner since Jennifer Capriati won a title in 1990 in Puerto Rico.
Gauff went from losing in the second round of the qualifying tournament to getting into the main draw as a lucky loser when Maria Sakkari pulled out of the tournament with an injury before play. Gauff was ready and able to take her spot in the draw and had 15 minutes to get to the court for her first-round match.
“I’m still overwhelmed and shocked,” Gauff said after the match.
“This is a special moment for me.”
“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. It’s just insane that I got in as a lucky loser and now I’m the champion. My dad told me when I got in, before the first main‑draw match, he said: ‘You can’t lose twice in the same tournament.’ I’m sure he never thought it would come this far, to being the champion, but I guess he was right.”
— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) October 13, 2019
On the way to the final, Gauff knocked out the top seed Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals, her first Top Ten victory as well as her first WTA main draw quarterfinal. Gauff reached the fourth round at Wimbledon back in July as the youngest qualifier in the tournament’s history, taking down former five-time champion Venus Williams in the first-round.
Coming into Wimbledon, the Delray Beach, Florida resident was ranked in the 300s. Sunday’s win puts her ranking at 72, making her Top 100 debut on Monday.
In the Tianjin Open final in China, Rebecca Peterson defeated Heather Watson to lift her second WTA title of the season, having lifted her maiden WTA title just one month ago at the Jiangxi Open. The Swede improves her win-loss record in WTA finals to a perfect 2-0.