Ever since she reached the US Open junior final at the age of 13 in 2017, Cori Gauff has been among the youngsters to watch, achieving many age records and showing her class on the WTA Tour as well. The 15-year-old American from Delray Beach had an incredible 2018 season, winning the first professional matches and lifting both Roland Garros and Orange Bowl to become the best junior in the world at the age of 14!
Ending her junior career, Cori was eager to break into the top-100 on the WTA ranking list (at the age of 15, her coevals are still on the junior Tour) and she is almost there, kicking off the season from barely inside the top-700 and making mind-blowing progress on the biggest tennis stage in London and New York.
Cori is currently ranked 110th after record-breaking runs at Wimbledon and the US Open, becoming one of the youngest players in the fourth round at the All England Club as a qualifier and scoring two wins in front of the home fans in New York as well.
The US Open should have been the end of Cori's memorable season with all the WTA age rules and restrictions but her results have opened her the window to play more events before turning 16 in March 2020, with the young gun deciding to compete in the qualifying rounds in Linz and Luxembourg.
Gauff had trained at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy for a couple of days before taking a trip to Linz where she defeated the 20-year-old Russian Liudmila Samsonova 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 in just over two hours and 20 minutes. In the final qualifying round, Cori lost to Tamara Korpatsch 6-4, 6-2 but that wasn't the end of her journey in Linz, securing the last-minute lucky loser spot and defeating Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 7-6 to advance into the second round where she faced Kateryna Kozlova.
Cori lost the opening set and trailed a break in the second before bouncing back, forcing a decider and prevailing 4-6, 6-4, 2-0, as Kozlova had to retire after losing eight of the first nine games in the second set. Thus, Cori has become the youngest WTA quarter-finalist since Sesil Karatancheva in Gold Coast 2005, earning a ranking milestone as well after cracking the top-100 as one of the youngest players to achieve that in the last two decades!
With these points, Cori has also secured the spot in the main draw of the upcoming Australian Open at the age when her coevals are only thinking about entering the junior draw, standing miles in front of other players born in 2004 or even in 2002 and 2003.