WTA

Coco Gauff becomes first 15-year-old in 15 years to reach top 50 in WTA rankings

By Sports Desk February 24, 2020

Coco Gauff has become the first 15-year-old in 15 years to reach the top 50 of the WTA rankings.

The American made a strong start to the year with her impressive run to the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she beat defending champion Naomi Osaka.

Those exploits from Gauff followed up on her breakout second half of the 2019 season. 

She burst onto the scene with a run to the last 16 at Wimbledon last year and went on to claim her first WTA Tour title in Linz.

Gauff's year-end ranking in 2018 was 686 and she had risen to 68 by the end of 2019.

Other WTA Tour results and points dropped for rival players saw Gauff reach a new peak of number 49 in Monday's latest version of the WTA rankings, the first time she has made the top 50.

The last 15-year-old to reach the top 50 wasSesil Karatantcheva, who achieved the feat in the week of August 1, 2005.

Gauff will look to continue her ascension when she returns to action at the Indian Wells Open next month, one of the biggest WTA tournaments outside of the grand slams due to its Premier Mandatory status.

She turns 16 in March, which means the current age restrictions which apply on the number of tournaments she is able to play will ease.

Australian Ash Barty remains top of the WTA rankings, while Bianca Andreescu is up to fourth, with Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin now in fifth position.

Belinda Bencic has fallen five places to ninth after her first-round loss at the Dubai Tennis Championships, an event she won last year.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Zverev suspects he contracted COVID-19 prior to Australian Open Coronavirus: Zverev suspects he contracted COVID-19 prior to Australian Open

    Australian Open semi-finalist and German star Alexander Zverev suspects he contracted coronavirus in December.

    COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the world, with more than 69,300 deaths globally and sport brought to a standstill.

    All ATP and WTA tournaments have been called off until mid-July, with Wimbledon cancelled, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Zverev produced his best grand slam performance at the Australian Open, where he reached the semi-finals in January, and the 22-year-old believes he may have been infected prior to the year's opening major in Melbourne.

    "My friend Brenda and I were in China on December 28," the world number seven told Bild.

    "You can't imagine how I coughed for a month in Australia. I had a fever for two or three days and I coughed for five or six hours. Brenda too. We didn't know what it was. It was a cough that I never had. I had no pain, but I coughed continuously every 10 seconds.

    "I had no pain, but I coughed continuously every ten seconds."

  • Coronavirus: Del Potro 'still nervous' watching US Open final win over Federer Coronavirus: Del Potro 'still nervous' watching US Open final win over Federer

    Juan Martin del Potro was "still nervous" as he watched a replay of his US Open final win over Roger Federer in 2009.

    The coronavirus pandemic has brought sport to a standstill around the world, with many broadcasters opting to show classic matches from the past.

    Del Potro, whose career has been ravaged by injuries, won his only grand slam 11 years ago, beating Federer in a five-setter in New York.

    On his Instagram story on Saturday, the Argentinian was watching a replay of his 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory.

    Del Potro wrote: "[It's] 11 years later and I'm still nervous."

    Del Potro, 31, was last in action in mid-2019 before needing surgery on his knee.

    The ATP and WTA Tour seasons are suspended until at least July 13, with Wimbledon having been cancelled for the first time since World War II.

  • Coronavirus: Spain considers domestic tour that could star Nadal, report says Coronavirus: Spain considers domestic tour that could star Nadal, report says

    Could Rafael Nadal return to tennis in an all-Spanish series of tournaments before the global ATP season swings back into action?

    That was the possibility raised on Saturday by a report that indicates the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) hopes to put on a domestic men's tour to enable the country's top players to build match fitness.

    Spanish sports newspaper Marca said it had learnt, through RFET sporting vice-president Tomas Carbonell, that plans were in the works for between eight and 10 tournaments to take place at clubs and academies in Spain.

    They would feature the country's leading players, open to those in the top 100, including world number two Nadal.

    Nadal on Saturday released an Instagram video showing how he and sister Maria Isabel are passing the time during lockdown, playing patio tennis over a couple of garden chairs.

    All ATP and WTA tournaments have been called off until mid-July, with Wimbledon cancelled, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    The French Open has been controversially postponed from May until late September, starting just a week after the US Open wraps up.

    Nadal has triumphed a record 12 times at Roland Garros and would not want to go to Paris short of match practice, which may mean domestic competition could appeal to the 19-time grand slam winner.

    Spain's next-highest ranked men's player is world number 12 Roberto Bautista Agut, followed by Pablo Carreno Busta (25) and Albert Ramos-Vinolas (41).

    Marca reports the prospect of a Spanish tour would hinge on the mid-season hard-court swing, including the US Open, being cancelled.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.