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Teenager Coco Gauff reaches first WTA final in Linz

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Coco Gauff and Simona Halep

American teen sensation Coco Gauff reached her first WTA singles final Saturday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Andrea Petkovic of Germany at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz in Austria.

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

"This is insane, I thought I was out of the tournament in qualifying", said the American.

The 15-year-old, who was only in the draw as a lucky loser, will bid for her first title on Sunday against either Jelena Ostapenko or Ekaterina Alexandrova.

"I've had a lot of luck and happiness here", she added.

'This is my first final and first tournament on the WTA ever making it to anything "final" at the end, like quarterfinal or semifinal, ' Gauff also told reporters.

"This was one of many highest-level matches I've performed".

'I was fighting for every point, even at break points down, I just tried to get the serve in and make her play a point'.

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".

Gauff's popularity has soared since she became the youngest player to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw in the professional era and reached the fourth round in July, beating seven-times Grand Slam champion Venus Williams along the way.

The youngest-ever victor of a WTA Tour title was two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin, aged simply 14, at Portland in 1977.

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.

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