Linz Open 2019: Coco Gauff become youngest WTA semi-finalist after beating Kiki Bertens, goes back to studies right after win

Coco Gauff's strategy sessions for the first WTA semi-final of her young career were put on hold for a few hours on Friday due to high-school homework.

Agence France-Presse October 11, 2019 22:55:20 IST
Linz Open 2019: Coco Gauff become youngest WTA semi-finalist after beating Kiki Bertens, goes back to studies right after win
  • Gauff became the youngest woman to reach a WTA semi-final since Nicole Vaidisova won the Tashkent title in 2004

  • The teenager was getting down to studying after her late-afternoon win, with lessons beckoning in her hotel room

  • Gauff was never threatened by more experienced opponent Bertens, who owns titles this season at St Petersburg and Madrid

Linz, Austria: Coco Gauff's strategy sessions for the first WTA semi-final of her young career were put on hold for a few hours on Friday due to high-school homework.

The 15-year-old from Delray Beach, Florida, who has attended school online since third grade is starting to write records as well as essays after upsetting Linz tournament top seed Kiki Bertens 7-6 (7/1), 6-4.

Linz Open 2019 Coco Gauff become youngest WTA semifinalist after beating Kiki Bertens goes back to studies right after win

File image of Coco Gauff. Image credit: Twitter/@ITF_Tennis

Gauff became the youngest woman to reach a WTA semi-final since Nicole Vaidisova won the Tashkent title in 2004, and will take on Andrea Petkovic on Saturday for a spot in the final.

The 75th-ranked Petkovic booked her first semi in a year, defeating Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-1.

Gauff was getting down to studying after her late-afternoon win, with lessons beckoning in her hotel room.

"I just got off the court, so I've not thought about the semi-final," she said.

"I'm thinking of the homework I have to do tonight. I don't know what it is yet.

"I'm studying the typical stuff: math, English, history... I don't know what I have to do — but I know it's something."

Gauff said that while she is not bothered by juggling her tennis and school commitments, "sometimes I'm motivated and then I have moments when I don't want to do it (homework) at all."

The teenager earned her place in the field as a lucky loser from qualifying as Greek Maria Sakkari withdrew injured to start the week.

The Floridian, still under WTA age restrictions, is playing her fifth Tour-level main draw of 2019 after reaching the Wimbledon fourth round and making the third round at the US Open.

Top 100 debut beckons

The Linz week has been a breakthrough for the world number 110 who will crack the top 100 on Monday, when she travels to Luxembourg for the last event of her season.

She is already assured of a spot in the Australian Open field in January with her rise in the rankings.

Gauff maintained control throughout over the eighth-ranked Bertens to earn her first victory over a top 10 player.

"There have been a lot of firsts this week," Gauff said. "I'm really happy and proud of how I'm playing.

"It's crazy today, beating a top 10. I'm super proud for what I've done. I couldn't ask for anything better at this event.

"I didn't have any nerves until the match points came along. Kiki was playing well and there was just a difference of one or two points.

"I'm glad I was able to come out on top. I've really gotten a lot of support from the crowd," she told a sellout audience in this upper Austrian regional capital.

Gauff was never threatened by her more experienced opponent, who owns titles this season at St Petersburg and Madrid and reached the Beijing semi-finals last week before returning to Europe.

Gauff stepped up to win the opener in a tie-break and broke for 2-1 in the second.

The match ended on Gauff's second match point as Bertens sent a return wide.

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Ankita Raina assured of entry in top 100 after maiden WTA doubles title at Phillip Island Trophy
Sports

Ankita Raina assured of entry in top 100 after maiden WTA doubles title at Phillip Island Trophy

Ankita will become only the second player to crack the doubles top-100 since Sania Mirza, who is a six-time Grand Slam champion.

Phillip Island Trophy: Ankita Raina records first victory in main draw of singles WTA Tour event
Sports

Phillip Island Trophy: Ankita Raina records first victory in main draw of singles WTA Tour event

Ankita came from behind to beat the Italian 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 in the opening round of the USD 235,238 hardcourt tournament.

Adelaide International: Iga Swiatek overcomes Jil Teichmann challenge in straight sets to reach final
Sports

Adelaide International: Iga Swiatek overcomes Jil Teichmann challenge in straight sets to reach final

Swiatek burst onto the scene last year when she won at Roland Garros, beating then world number six Sofia Kenin in the final.