Gauff reaches maiden quarter-final in Linz

Tanya Simon
October 19, 2019

Gauff, 15, defeated former Top 5 player Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2, in the championship match on Sunday.

Gauff shot to fame this year when she became the youngest player to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw in the Open era and reached the fourth round, beating veteran Venus Williams along the way.

The young American went on to reach her first tour-level semifinal and final before her 99-minute win over Ostapenko gave her the trophy.

Gauff, a lucky loser following Maria Sakkari's withdrawal, was leading 4-6 6-4 2-0 when her Ukrainian opponent was unable to continue due to a leg injury. "For sure, I'm 100 percent playing in Luxembourg", said Gauff whose rise has been meteoric - at the end of 2018, she was 686 in the world.

"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 insane". She is also in the doubles semi-finals in Linz, partnered with 17-year-old compatriot Caty McNally.

Gauff raced to a 5-0 lead in the final set before Ostapenko rediscovered her rhythm to save two match points and hold on for 5-1.

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"I had an awesome week and I hope to be back in the future".

Gauff will shoot up from 110th in the rankings into the 80s when the WTA rankings are released today.

"It's just literally insane that I got in as a lucky loser and now I'm the champion", Gauff said. In January of this year, I sent a message to my friend saying I wanted to finish Top 100, and at the time I was ranked, like, 800, so it was a far-fetched goal, but I'm glad that I was able to accomplish it.

"Last year around this time I was playing a juniors Grade 1 [tournament], and I lost in the quarterfinals there, in Mexico".

"I'm new to the Tour and I've not faced a lot of the players".

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