As much as mainstream media are putting Coco Gauff in the limelight, there’s also a big group of people who consider the great attention this teenager receives to be too much too early. However, the 15-year-old continues to make tennis history. Today, the Delray Beach, Fla., native advanced to her first WTA semifinal at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz, becoming the youngest player to reach a WTA semifinal since Nicole Vaidisiova won a tournament in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in October 2004.
The world No.110 Gauff, who entered the draw as a lucky loser, recorded her first Top 10 victory by defeating the tournament’s top seed Kiki Bertens 7-6(1) 6-4 in Friday’s quarterfinals.
After a tight first set, Gauff convincingly won the tiebreak. In the second set, the American grabbed the only break of serve at 1-1 and hung on to that lead to continue a breakthrough season which saw her reach the fourth round at Wimbledon and the third round at the US Open on her debut appearances at those Grand Slams.
Gauff is set to crack the Top 100 when the WTA rankings are updated on Monday and she’ll be the only player under the age of 18 in that group.
In Saturday’s Linz semifinals, Gauff will face Germany’s world No.75 Andrea Petkovic, who beat Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 6-4 6-1. The other semifinal will be contested between last year’s Linz runner-up Ekaterina Alexandrova, who defeated Kristina Mladenovic 6-2 6-4, and 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko, as the Latvian knocked out Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 7-5 6-1 to book her spot in the final four.