Teen sensation Coco Gauff made the most of her “lucky loser” status by running the table and winning her first career title Sunday in Linz, besting former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.
“I’m still overwhelmed and shocked,” said Gauff. “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.”
Gauff lost in the final round of qualifying last week to Tamara Korpatsch. But then when Maria Sakkari withdrew, the American took her spot and proceeded to beat Bertens, Petkovic and Ostapenko in her last three matches.
“It’s just literally insane that I got in as a lucky loser and now I’m the champion,” Gauff said.
“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!'” she said. “I’m sure he never thought it would come this far, to being the champion, but I guess he was right.”
Gauff becomes the youngest champion on tour since 2004 when a 15-year-old Nicole Vaidisova won two trophies.
Gauff will see her ranking climb to near No. 75.
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