American teenage sensation Coco Gauff became the youngest player to win a WTA title in 15 years as she beat former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the Linz Open final on Sunday.
The 15-year-old Gauff, who started the season ranked well outside the world’s top 600, beat Latvia’s Ostapenko 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in a topsy-turvy contest.
She becomes the youngest WTA singles title holder since Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic claimed her maiden crown in Tashkent at the age of 15 in 2004.
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.
Ostapenko went on to break Gauff at love to make it 5-2 but the American held her nerve to seal victory on her third match point.
It concludes a remarkable week for Gauff, who went from failing to win her qualifier to entering the main draw as a lucky loser.
Gauff made her opportunity count by beating Stefanie Vogele, Kateryna Kozlova, top seed Kiki Bertens and Andrea Petkovic to reach the final.
“I’m still overwhelmed and shocked,” Gauff told reporters. “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.
“My dad told me when I got in, before the first main-draw match ‘You can’t lose twice in the same tournament!’ I’m sure he never thought it would come this far, to being the champion, but I guess he was right.”
Gauff, whose popularity soared at Wimbledon when she beat Venus Williams on her way to the fourth round, is projected to move inside the top 75 in the WTA rankings on Monday.
Medvedev mauls Zverev to lift Shanghai Masters title
Russian Daniil Medvedev pulverised Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-1 to lift his fourth title of the season at the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.
Germany’s Zverev started the match with a 4-0 head-to-head record in his favour against Medvedev but had conceded that his opponent was 'probably the best player in the world' at the moment.
US Open runner-up Medvedev, playing in his sixth straight final, broke Zverev twice to close out the opening set in front of a packed crowd.
The 23-year-old was at his ruthless best in the second set as he raced to a 5-0 lead before Zverev finally showed some resistance to hold serve.
Yet Medvedev then served out the match with an emphatic ace to claim his second consecutive ATP Masters 1000 crown following his triumph in Cincinnati.
When asked why he does not like celebrating his victories on court, Medvedev quipped: “I said it after Cincinnati I think that everyone has been talking that they want to see something new. So I don’t celebrate my wins, just get the win and it’s done.”
Medvedev enjoyed a near-flawless week in Shanghai - claiming the title without dropping a set all week - as he continues as incredible second half of the season.
The world number four improved his 2019 win-loss record to 59-17, including a Tour-leading 46 victories on hard courts this season.
He has already qualified for the season-ending ATP Finals in London, alongside Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Among the next generation of players coming through, Medvedev is widely tipped to break the stranglehold of the ‘Big Three’ - Djokovic, Nadal and Federer - at the top of the sport and become a regular Grand Slam contender next season.
“It is outrageous what I have done in the last few months,” Medvedev said. “I have worked for it and I hope I’m gonna do much more.”
With two spots in the London finals still up for grabs, Zverev is in pole position to qualify as he currently occupies seventh spot in the qualification race.