Coco Gauff made the best use of her lucky loser entrance into the main draw of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz — after being knocked out in the final round of qualifying, the American teenager got a place in the main draw when Greece’s Maria Sakkari withdrew and she used her second chance to the fullest, progressing all the way to the tournament’s quarterfinals and thus ensuring a place in the WTA Top 100 for the first time in her career.
The 15-year-old Gauff, who rose to stardom by reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon this year, reached the last eight at the International-level event in Linz when opponent Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine retired while trailing 6-4 4-6 0-2 in their second-round match on Wednesday. In the first round, Gauff’s victim was Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele.
The tennis sensation, who still has five months until her 16th birthday, is the youngest player to reach a WTA quarterfinal since Bulgarian Sesil Karatantcheva in January 2005.
A place among the Top 100 players will help Gauff receive an automatic qualification for the Australian Open. For Wimbledon 2019 she qualified and became the youngest player in the Open Era to reach the Grand Slam’s main draw, while she was given a wildcard for the US Open, where she lost to Naomi Osaka in the third round.
Alongside fellow American Catherine McNally, Gauff was also victorious in doubles on Wednesday, as the duo defeated Kaitlyn Christian and Alexa Guarachi 6-2 6-3 in the first round.