Jelena Ostapenko claimed her first WTA singles title for over two years as she saw off Julia Goerges in the final of the Luxembourg Open.

Ostapenko was playing in her second final in as many weeks after losing in the Linz showpiece to teenager Coco Gauff.

However, the former French Open champion went one better in Luxembourg, cruising to a 6-4 6-1 win over Goerges.

The championship marks Ostapenko's first since the Korea Open in September 2017, three months after her French Open final triumph over Simona Halep.

Ostapenko needed only one break to take the first set and it came in the ninth game when Goerges fired long, the Latvian then consolidating to wrap up the opener.

Goerges' resistance faded in much shorter order in the second as the German faltered on the forehand side, allowing Ostapenko to race to victory having lost her previous two finals of 2019.

Kiki Bertens look set to miss out on the WTA Finals following a Kremlin Cup quarter-final defeat to Kristina Mladenovic, which left the door open for Belinda Bencic to make her Shenzhen debut.

Bertens missed out on a place in the last four in Moscow when she was beaten 6-4 2-6 6-1 by the unseeded Mladenovic.

The second seed will require a withdrawal to feature in the season-ending tournament in China after failing to climb above the eighth-placed Serena Williams in the standings.

Mladenovic mixed up her game with skill and intelligence and faces a semi-final showdown with Bencic next.

Bencic will move ahead of both Bertens and Williams to grab a Shenzhen spot if she records one more win following a 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 result against qualifier Kirsten Flipkens on Friday.

The Swiss third seed, who has never played in the WTA Finals, drew on her fighting spirit to come from 4-1 down in the opening set and edged a tie-break after saving two set points, then dominated the second set.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Karolina Muchova will contest the other semi-final after getting the better of Veronika Kudermetova and Ekaterina Alexandrova respectively.

Meanwhile, defending champion Julia Goerges rallied from a set down to beat Monica Puig 1-6 6-2 6-3 and reach the last four of the Luxembourg Open.

The German will take on Elena Rybakina, a 6-0 6-4 winner against Laura Siegemund, while Jelena Ostapenko and Anna Blinkova will also do battle for a place in the final.

 

 

Veronika Kudermetova upset top seed Elina Svitolina in the second round of the Kremlin Cup and Jelena Ostapenko fought back to knock Elise Mertens out of the Luxembourg Open on Thursday.

Kudermetova came out on top in her first match against a top-five opponent, defeating Svitolina 6-1 2-6 7-5 in Moscow.

The 22-year-old Russian wrapped up the opening set in only 28 minutes and came from 2-0 down in the decider to move into the quarter-finals.

Kudermetova's attacking approach paid off, world number four Svitolina showing resolve in the final set but missing out on a last-eight showdown with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Second seed Kiki Bertens advanced with 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory over Kaia Kanepi, while Pavlyuchenkova won an all-Russian contest with Varvara Gracheva 5-7 6-4 6-2.

Kristina Mladenovic will face Bertens after battling her way past sixth seed Anastasija Sevastova 7-5 3-6 6-3.

The top seed also bowed out Luxembourg, with Ostapenko digging deep to see off Mertens 4-6 6-2 6-2.

Ostapenko, runner-up to Coco Gauff at the Linz Open last weekend, will now come up against Antonia Lottner, who went through when Andrea Petkovic retired with a knee injury after losing the first set 6-1.

Defending champion Julie Goerges saw off Sorana Cirstea 4-6 6-4 6-4, while Anna Blinkova and Monica Puig also made it through, defeating Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (8-6). 

Anna Blinkova overcame a fatigued Coco Gauff as the American teenager was unable to back up her Linz triumph at the Luxembourg Open.

Gauff claimed the first WTA title of her fledgling career in Austria last week but was clinically dispatched by Russian Blinkova 6-4 6-0 on Wednesday.

The beaten 15-year-old American complained of feeling tired as she was swept aside in the second set and found Blinkova in uncompromising mood.

World number 66 Blinkova made only five unforced errors and hit 18 winners in her first-round victory.

Defending champion Julia Goerges saw off 2015 winner Misaki Doi in a gruelling three-set battle, the second seed coming back to triumph 5-7 6-1 6-3 to reach round two.

Wednesday brought a more straightforward outing for third seed Elena Rybakina, who breezed past Denisa Allertova 6-2 6-1 to earn a quarter-final place.

Jelena Ostapenko beat Caty McNally in straight sets and will meet top seed Elise Mertens in the last-16, while there were second-round wins for Margarita Gasparyan and Laura Siegemund.

At the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Belinda Bencic pulled off a stunning comeback to beat Polona Hercog 1-6 6-3 6-4 and book a quarter-final place.

As well as being blown away in the opening set, number three seed Bencic found herself 3-0 down in the decider before shifting through the gears to win six of the last seven games.

Bencic will next tackle Kirsten Flipkens, who bested fifth seed Dayana Yastremska 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Ekaterina Alexandrova had too much for fellow Russian Anna Kalinskaya, thrashing her compatriot 6-1 6-1 before their home crowd. Karolina Muchova, who stormed past fourth seed Donna Vekic 6-4 6-2, will be Alexandrova's last-eight opponent.

Coco Gauff's first WTA Tour title at the Linz Open means the 15-year-old has the prize money to buy a Halloween costume she hopes will be the best in the sport.

The outstanding teenager, who starred at Wimbledon and the US Open, became the youngest champion on the main tour in 15 years as she defeated Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday.

The victory capped a sensational week for Gauff, who also claimed a landmark first win against a top-10 player when she downed world number eight Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals.

Despite a fast-moving week, which started with the American entering the tournament as a lucky loser, Gauff has already made plans for her reported winnings of $43,000.

"I know Halloween is coming up and it's one of my favourite times of year," she said. "So I guess I'll splurge a little bit on my costume and make sure it's right.

"[The costume is] a secret, because I know last year they had a WTA contest for the best costumes, and I came in third. This year my goal is to come in first!"

Gauff drew huge crowds as she made grand slam breakthroughs at the All England Club and then at Flushing Meadows, yet she revealed she had not expected to be in contention for titles at the start of the season.

"I'm still overwhelmed and shocked," she said. "I guess it's crazy to say it's my first WTA title.

"This was definitely not on the calendar at the beginning of the year, because I didn't think I'd have a chance to get in. And now I'm the champion, so it's crazy."

Gauff is the first player this season to win on the tour as a lucky loser and added: "It's just literally insane that I got in as a lucky loser and now I'm the champion.

"My dad told me when I got in, before the first main-draw match, he said, 'You can't lose twice in the same tournament!'

"I'm sure he never thought it would come this far, to being the champion, but I guess he was right."

Coco Gauff claimed the first WTA Tour title of her career with a thrilling 6-3 1-6 6-2 victory over Jelena Ostapenko in the final of the Linz Open.

The 15-year-old American sensation was the youngest WTA finalist since Nicole Vaidisova won the Tashkent Open in 2004 and showed plenty of the form that saw her spring to grand slam prominence this year to take the first set.

Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, rallied impressively both to level matters and delay a victory that marks the latest staging post in Gauff's rapid rise.

Gauff, who stunned world number eight Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals, was forced to save a pair of break points in the first game but immediately got stuck in to the Ostapenko serve, opening up a 3-0 lead.

Playing her first final of 2019, Ostapenko settled well enough thereafter but Gauff looked imperious, shrugging off a double fault at the start of the ninth game to take the set.

Ostapenko finally got a look at her opponent's serve in set two as they exchanged breaks early on, before the weight of what she seemed set to accomplish appeared to hinder Gauff.

It meant the second went 6-1 to the world number 72 but the pedigree Gauff displayed en route to round four at Wimbledon and round three in the US Open came emphatically to the fore in the decider.

After dropping serve for 2-0, Ostapenko got involved in an animated exchange with the umpire, repeatedly asking the official, "Can you see the ball?"

At the next change of ends, newly appointed coach Marion Bartoli sought to settle her charge but Gauff was on a roll, and Ostapenko was forced to gamely repel a pair of match points at 5-0.

Those near misses knocked the teenager, who plopped a forehand into the net to be broken to love in the next game.

She regrouped superbly, however, as both players tore into each other with all-or-nothing groundstrokes. One of those from Ostapenko was shown to be long on a challenge and Gauff let out a scream of delight, embracing a landmark triumph.

Coco Gauff says her run to a first WTA Tour final at the age of 15 shows she is ready to play at a top level.

Gauff needed a lucky loser spot to take her place in the main draw of the Linz Open after failing to qualify but could claim the title on Sunday following a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Andrea Petkovic.

The American, who reached the fourth round of Wimbledon and third round at the US Open this year, will face Jelena Ostapenko after the 2017 French Open champion booked her place in the final by beating Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Gauff saved nine of the 10 break points she faced in a superb defensive display, with the teenager thrilled by her continued rise.

"This is actually the first time in my life, including juniors, that I got into something as a lucky loser, and now I'm in the final," said Gauff. "I guess every little thing counts. You never know what it could lead to.

"Last year, around this time, I was playing a juniors Grade 1 [tournament], and I lost in the quarter-finals there, in Mexico. It's crazy how much a year can make a difference in improvement.

"I thought this was one of the highest-level matches I played, even though it was straight sets. No game was really easy to win, I felt, for either player.

"Andrea was playing an amazing match, and she was hitting a lot of winners and put a lot of pressure on me to put the ball deep. I guess I was fighting for every point, because you never know what happens.

"Maybe after these [earlier] matches, they boosted my confidence a lot. It kind of showed I can play at this top level, and hang with these top players."

Gauff, who enjoyed her first career top-10 win against Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals in Austria, will move into the top 100 of the WTA rankings when they are updated on Monday.

Teenage sensation Coco Gauff will face Jelena Ostapenko in her first WTA Tour singles final after beating Andrea Petkovic in straight sets at the Linz Open. 

Gauff needed a lucky loser spot to take her place in the main draw after failing to qualify but could claim the title on Sunday following a 6-4 6-4 defeat of Petkovic. 

The 15-year-old American saved nine of 10 break points she faced and rallied from 2-0 down to win the first set before claiming the only break of the second to oust German Petkovic on Saturday. 

Gauff showed great defence and mixed up her game impressively, making Petkovic pay for a double fault which gave the teenager a 3-2 advantage in the second set. 

The Florida native, set to move into the top 100 in the rankings on Monday, won 71 per cent of points on her second serve and broke new ground when she put away a textbook volley. 

Ostapenko saved three match points in a battling 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 defeat of Ekaterina Alexandrova. 

The 2017 French Open champion showed her fighting spirit to reach a first singles final of the year after fending off a match point in the second set and another two in the decider. 

Kiki Bertens overcame an early stumble to power through to the quarter-finals of the Linz Open on Thursday.

Top seed Bertens looked to be in trouble in the last 16 in Austria when she lost the first set to Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, who won the Tashkent Open a fortnight ago.

But Dutch world number eight Bertens, who had been broken in the opening game of the match, did not drop serve again and forced a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

Lucky loser Coco Gauff, playing a WTA Tour quarter-final for the first time, will be her opponent on Friday, having also reached the doubles semi-finals alongside fellow American Caty McNally on Thursday.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff secured her singles last-eight place on Wednesday when defeating Kateryna Kozlova.

Fourth seed Donna Vekic could not join Bertens in the next round, as the Croatian claimed the opening set but went down 3-6 6-1 6-2 to French opponent Kristina Mladenovic.

This was the pair's third meeting in 2019 and, having lost the first two, Mladenovic finally took flight.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was another on the wrong end of an upset as the ninth-seeded Russian similarly let an early lead slip, beaten 2-6 6-2 6-4 by Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova.

Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova showed greater spirit after being pegged back, seeing off German Laura Siegemund in three, while French player Alize Cornet retired as she trailed Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the second set.

Coco Gauff reached her first WTA Tour quarter-final when Kateryna Kozlova retired in the final set of their Linz Open contest on Wednesday and could face top seed Kiki Bertens in the last eight.

Gauff, a lucky loser following Maria Sakkari's withdrawal, was leading 4-6 6-4 2-0 when her Ukrainian opponent was unable to continue due to a leg injury.

The 15-year-old American won four of the next five games from a break down at 3-2 in the second set with great fighting spirit and is set to move into the top 100 after her passage in the quarter-finals was secured.

Gauff is the youngest player to move into the last eight of a WTA event since Sesil Karatancheva back in 2005.

The teenage prodigy said: "It's been a goal of mine. In January of this year, I sent a message to my friend saying I wanted to finish Top 100, and at the time I was ranked, like, 800, so it was a far-fetched goal, but I'm glad that I was able to accomplish it.

"My other goal was to get in the main draw of two grand slams, and that happened, so I'm glad that I accomplished everything that I wanted this year."

Bertens, in contention to feature in the WTA Finals, saw off Misaki Doi 6-4 7-5 to set up a second-round meeting with Alison Van Uytvanck.

The world number eight broke twice in each set to stay in the hunt for a third title of the year as she bids to secure a place in the season-ending tournament in Shenzhen.

Andrea Petkovic won an all-German second-round match against fifth seed Julia Goerges 7-6 (7-2) 6-0, while Elena Rybakina denied Anna-Lena Friedsam a place in the quarter-finals.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Jelena Ostapenko and Ekaterina Alexandrova were first-round winners on day three.

Elina Svitolina made up for a sluggish start by beating Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets at the Guangzhou Open but second seed Wang Qiang crashed out.

World number three Svitolina, who reached the semi-finals of the US Open, dropped her serve in the opening game of her first-round clash before reeling off five in succession en route to taking the set.

The top seeded Ukrainian fended off four break points to consolidate starting the second with a break, but she was unable to serve out the match at the first attempt.

Svitolina responded immediately, though, breaking to complete the 6-3 6-3 triumph in just 69 minutes and setting up a meeting with Marie Bouzkova.

Wang saved four match points against Shuai Peng but was unable to join Svitolina in the second round.

Although Wang moved ahead of Shuai with four breaks across the match, she got only 43 per cent of her first serves in and won just 54% of points behind it in a 7-5 6-2 loss.

Katarina Zavatska came from behind to defeat Fiona Ferro 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 in three hours and 27 minutes – the longest WTA Tour main-draw match of the year.

Sofia Kenin, Zhang Shuai, Katerina Siniakova and Zheng Saisai were the other seeds to advance.

At the Korea Open, Patricia Maria Tig made the most of top seed Maria Sakkari's withdrawal due to a right wrist injury by defeating lucky loser Danka Kovinic 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-3).

Jelena Ostapenko, the champion in 2017, fell 6-3 6-3 to Timea Babos, while sixth seed Polona Hercog went down 6-3 3-6 6-1 against Ana Bogdan.

There were also wins for Karolina Muchova and Ajla Tomljanovic, seeded third and fifth respectively.

Alison Riske inflicted another first-round defeat on Angelique Kerber as the former world number one crashed out of the Zhengzhou Open in China.

American Riske, who was a surprise quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in July, came from behind to beat Germany's three-time grand slam winner 5-7 6-4 7-6 (8-6) on Tuesday.

It means Kerber has lost her opening match at four successive tournaments, last enjoying a victory in the first round of Wimbledon.

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Riske in the second round of the US Open two weeks ago before falling in round three, recovered from a mid-match slump to beat China's You Xiaodi in the first round in Zhengzhou.

Latvian Ostapenko, who has nosedived from 22nd to as low as 83rd in the WTA singles rankings this year – she is currently at 75 - was a 6-3 0-6 6-2 winner against qualifier You.

France's Kristina Mladenovic beat Kerber in the first round of the US Open, before falling in round two. Mladenovic began her campaign in Zhengzhou with a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win against Duan Ying-Ying.

Fiona Ferro, who beat Mladenovic in New York, started out at the Chinese event with a 6-2 6-3 success against Yang Zhaoxuan, while Alize Cornet and Ajla Tomljanovic also made it safely through to round two.

Those who were hoping for Coco Gauff to deliver another thriller in her match with Naomi Osaka were left disappointed, but they did witness the most touching moment of the US Open so far.

Defending champion and world number one Osaka proved too much for Gauff as she eased to a 6-3 6-0 win over the 15-year-old American in just 65 minutes on Saturday.

It was a hugely impressive performance from Osaka, but it was what she did after the match that earned her the most acclaim at Flushing Meadows.

Despite a tearful Gauff wanting to leave the court, Osaka persuaded the teenager to stay out there so they could do the on-court interview together.

Both were then reduced to tears as they spoke in front of the Arthur Ashe crowd, who treated them to a standing ovation.

Osaka will have won plenty more admirers with that sporting gesture and will next face Belinda Bencic, who received a walkover after Anett Kontaveit withdrew from their match due to illness, for a place in the last eight.

 

TOWNSEND'S PHONE OVERWHELMED BY TEXTS

Taylor Townsend looked in danger of falling flat after her remarkable comeback against Simona Halep, going a break down in the first set in her match with another Romanian, Sorana Cirstea.

However, Townsend fought back to take the first set and, after skipping a rope at the change of ends, produced a dominant second. 

Continuing her aggressive play from the win over fourth seed Halep, Townsend came to the net 75 times in securing a 7-5 6-2 victory.

Speaking to ESPN on court afterwards, Townsend told of the increased attention she has received since defeating Wimbledon champion Halep.

"I didn't know that many people had my phone number," Townsend said. "I got a lot of messages and my phone started dialling 911 by itself."

ANDREESCU KEEPS ASHE EMOTIONS IN CHECK

Next up for Townsend will be rising star Bianca Andreescu, who kept up her outstanding run of form by beating two-time US Open runner-up Wozniacki 6-4 6-4.

Canadian Andreescu has not lost a completed match since March, having won the Rogers Cup on her return from an injury that kept her out of Wimbledon.

But she had no shortage of nerves playing on Ashe for the first time in her fledgling career.

"I was, like, Oh, my God, is this actually happening right now? It's a dream come true, so I prepared myself really well," Andreescu said. "I handled my emotions well today."


AHN: "I'VE MADE IT"

Kristie Ahn had never gone beyond the first round of a slam before this week, now she can look forward to playing in the last 16 after a three-set win over Jelena Ostapenko.

Ahn survived an injury scare to beat former French Open champion Ostapenko 6-3 7-5 and was thrilled to finally be recognised by a passer-by at Flushing Meadows after initially being mistaken for Osaka.

The 27-year-old posted on Twitter: "Story time: Was walking back from my dubs match today and heard someone yell 'It's Naomi Osaka!' Everyone started cheering and then someone goes, 'No! That's Kristie Ahn!' Y'all...I've made it."

Standing in her way as she eyes the last eight is 25th seed Elise Mertens, who defeated Petra Kvitova's conqueror Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3.

Seventh seed Kiki Bertens was unable to improve on her best performance in New York as she was comfortably beaten 6-2 6-3 by Julia Goerges.

Former world number one Maria Sharapova lost a three-set epic against Anett Kontaveit in the first round of the WTA Rogers Cup.

Sharapova – a five-time grand slam champion – was eliminated following a two hour, 41-minute thriller in Toronto on Monday.

Former Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki moved through to the second round, while Serena Williams will open her campaign against Elise Mertens.

 

SHARAPOVA STUNNED IN TORONTO

The 2009 runner-up saw victory slip through her grasp, beaten 4-6 6-3 6-4 by Kontaveit.

Sharapova was up a set a break before 16th seed Kontaveit prevailed in a tense three-setter, which lasted almost three hours.

Playing for the first time since retiring from her first-round match at Wimbledon, Sharapova – seeking just her fourth victory since January due to injury problems – was unable to stop the Estonian.

"I put a lot of work in to get to this stage, so I think to finish off this match is good," Sharapova said. "Definitely not the result I would have liked, but overall feeling pretty good about it."

It will not get any easier for Kontaveit, who is set to play the winner of Venus Williams and Carla Suarez Navarro.

 

WOZNIACKI MAKES WINNING START

Former champion Wozniacki accounted for Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-2 on day one.

The 2010 winner in Montreal, Wozniacki trailed 4-2 after dropping serve in the opening game before reeling off four straight games to take out the set.

Wozniacki then won four games in a row from 2-2 in the second set as the 15th seed awaits either Iga Swiatek or Ajla Tomljanovic in the next round.

"I'm just happy with the win today and that I'm through to the next round," said Wozniacki, who was also runner-up in 2017.

 

MERTENS SETS UP SERENA SHOWDOWN

Williams awaits in the second round after Belgian Mertens outlasted Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6 6-3 6-1.

Former world number one and eighth seed Williams is a three-time winner of the event, having last triumphed in 2013.

Sofia Kenin set up a clash with world number one and top seed Ashleigh Barty with a 6-4 6-3 win over Hsieh Su-wei, while defending champion Simona Halep is next up for Jennifer Brady – who saw off Kristina Mladenovic 6-1 6-2.

Former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko triumphed but three-time major champion Angelique Kerber – the 12th seed – was shocked by Daria Kasatkina 0-6 6-2 6-4.

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