Teenage star Gauff reaches maiden WTA final

Coco Gauff and Simona Halep

Teenage American Coco Gauff beat top seed Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals of the Linz Open in Austria on Friday, reaching her maiden WTA tour semifinal in the process.

Ostapenko took on last year's runner-up Ekaterina Alexandrova from Russian Federation and recovered from a poor first set to prevail 1-6 7-6 (5) 7-5 to reach her first WTA final since Miami last spring.

The Florida native, set to move into the top 100 in the rankings on Monday, won 71 percent of points on her second serve and broke new ground when she put away a textbook volley.

She was also the youngest woman to reach the semifinals since Nicole Vaidisova in 2004.

Super talented American showed no fear against the more experienced and far better-ranked rival, scoring a 7-6, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 37 minutes for her career-best victory and secure more age milestones. "I think I'll keep using it until it doesn't work so well anymore".

This is Gauff's first WTA tournament since she left the court in tears after a heavy defeat by two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka in the US Open third round.

Five-time major victor and former world number one Sharapova, 32, has been carrying a shoulder injury and hasn't played since a first-round exit at the US Open.

Now ranked 110th, Gauff showed real determination to save nine out of the 10 break points she faced, before she sealed victory on her second match point.

The youngest-ever victor of a WTA Tour title was two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin, aged just 14, at Portland in 1977.

Limited in the number of WTA events she can play due to her age, Linz marked Gauff's first tournament since NY and she fell in qualifying to Tamara Korpatsch.



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