Tennis ace on the brink

Young American Cori Gauff one win away from first WTA title


CORI GAUFF’S Cori whirlwind week at the Linz Open improved as the 15-year-old sealed her inaugural WTA Tour Singles final berth on Saturday (Oct 12).

he American teenager, who kicked off the week in Austria with defeat in the qualifiers, ceased her second shot at the tournament to gun down four opponents and confidently march into the final.

Following up Friday’s first win over a top 10 player, the 15-year-old returned to Centre Court and remarkably despatched German Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-4.

After trailing 2-0, there was no stopping France-based Gauff who saved nine of the 10 break points against an opponent over twice her age.
Her latest triumph broke the record books as she became the youngest player in 15 years reach a WTA final.

Having lost to Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch last Sunday, Gauff wasn’t originally in the main draw of the tournament. But she emerged as a lucky loser after Greece’s Maria Sakkari withdrew just 15 minutes before her 1st round encounter.

The tournament run is the perfect antidote after the teenager broke down in tears following a finishing lesson from Japan’s hard-hitting Naomi Osaka at the US Open in September.

Now Latvian Helena Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, stands between Gauff and her first WTA Tour Singles title.

Gauff is set to be in the Luxembourg Open main draw on Monday, where she will become the youngest member of the WTA’s Top 100 when the latest rankings are announced – and even if she finishes second best in Linz will be propelled to at least no.80.

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