October 14, 2019
Coco Gauff bagged the WTA Tour Singles Title at an age much younger than when Venus and Serena Williams claimed theirs first. The 15-year-old who wasn't supposed to join the tournament qualified as a "lucky loser."
"First time in my life, even in juniors, that I got into something as a lucky loser..."
Capturing the Linz Open on Sunday, Gauff is now the youngest player to win a singles title since 2004 and the youngest American since 1991.
"I'll definitely remember this moment for the rest of my life," she told the audience at the tournament after her win. Gauff bested 2017 French Open winner, Jelena Ostapenko winning three sets during their match.
“This is definitely unreal, my first final on the WTA,” she previously told the press after making it to the finals when she defeated Andrea Petkovic the day before.
“I’ve had a lot of luck and happiness here,” she said of Linz, Austria which she considers her “special place.”
Comparisons between Gauff and the Williams’ sisters began after the former made it to the US Open girl’s final in 2017 at the very young age of 13.
Gauff eased into the tournament and was deemed a “lucky loser” when another player was pulled out due to an injury. This gave way to her entry though she wasn’t originally in the maid draw.
"First time in my life, even in juniors, that I got into something as a lucky loser and now I'm in the final," said Gauff of her lucky break. "I guess every little thing counts and you never know what it can lead to."
Gauff’s historic win comes in the heels of an emotional loss against Naomi Osaka during the US Open.
Wimbledon tweeted that it knew it was only "a matter of time" before Gauff edged out the record of legends Serena and Venus Williams who won their first career titles at 17.
Comparisons between Gauff and the Williams’ sisters began after the former made it to the US Open girl’s final in 2017 at the very young age of 13. Like Serena, Gauff also grew up playing in Delray Florida and also works with the tennis celebrity’s longtime coach, Patrick Mouratoglou.
“I wanted to leave the court because I lost,” Gauff told the hosts of Today recalling the touching moment Osaka invited to join her for a post-match interview. “And she was like ‘No, come with me’ and I was just shocked because no one ever does that.”
Gauff described the moment as “emotional,” one that had “good and bad emotions” but was grateful to Osaka for being “so sweet” to her.
Though they weren’t close then, Gauff revealed she now talks to Osaka more frequently.