Gauff Upsets Bertens At Upper Austria Ladies Linz

Cori Gauff (photo: Upper Austria Ladies Linz)

LINZ, October 11, 2019 (by Alessandro Boroch)

Fifteen-year-old US-American Coco Gauff created many headlines at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz on Friday after causing the biggest upset at the WTA International Event so far, winning 7-6(1), 6-4 against World No. 8 Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands.

The first set was well-balanced up to the deciding tie-break, when Bertens started a run of unforced errors. The Delray Beach, Florida native kept going with her solid hitting from the baseline which helped her rushing through the tiebreaker.

At the beginning of the second set, the favored Dutchwoman managed to get her first two break points of the match, but Gauff continued to find the lines and was able to hold her service game after hitting an amazing drop volley. The young US-American went on breaking Bertens‘ serve in the following game, which remained the only break of serve in the entire match.

“Kiki was playing well and there was just a very small difference of one or two points today,“ Gauff said afterwards.

Apart from becoming the youngest woman to reach a WTA-semifinal since Nicole Vaidisova won a tournament Tashkent, Uzbekistan in October 2004, Gauff also earned her first victory over a top 10 player today. Gauff’s performance in Linz will ensure her rise into the Top 100 when the WTA rankings are updated on Monday. She will be the only player under the age of 18 ranked in the Top 100.

“There have been a lot of firsts this week, I’m really proud of how I’m playing this week,” she said.

Andrea Petkovic repeated last year’s semi-final run in Linz as she cruised past World No. 53 Viktoria Kuzmova from Slovakia in just an hour and six minutes, winning 6-4, 6-1. Petkovic looks in good shape and is still yet to drop a set at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz.

“I actually always played well in Linz, I just feel very comfortable here and I like being in Austria. If I played in Linz every week, I would be inside the Top 5,” the German joked afterwards, referring to the fact that she has reached the semi-finals in Linz three times during her career.

On Saturday, Petkovic will take on Gauff for a place in the final. The German is trying to advance to her first WTA final since Antwerp in February 2015, while the teenager could potentially move into her maiden title match on the WTA Tour.

No. 8 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova from Russia reached the semi-final round in Linz for the second consecutive year after a solid 6-2, 6-4 win over Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic in only 75 minutes. Alexandrova allowed her opponent just one break of serve and was able to win 70 percent of her own service points.

The 24-year-old Russian will now face former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who overcame Elena Rybakina in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1. Ostapenko, who is being coached by Marion Bartoli this week, didn’t drop a set  on her way into her first semi-final of the season.

RESULTS – October 11, 2019 Women’s Main Draw Singles – Quarterfinal

A. Petkovic (GER) d V. Kuzmova (SVK) 64 61
[LL] C. Gauff (USA) d [1] K. Bertens (NED) 76 64
E. Alexandrova (RUS) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) 62 64
J. Ostapenko (LAT) d E. Rybakina (KAZ) 75 61