Entering the main draw as a lucky loser, the 15-year-old Cori Gauff grabbed the second opportunity with both hands, scoring three victories to reach the semi-final, cement the place in the top-100 and earn more age records to her already impressive tally.
After toppling Stefanie Voegele, Cori passed Kateryna Kozlova to advance into the last eight where she got the opportunity to face the top-10 opponent and the WTA Finals contender Kiki Bertens. Super talented American showed no fear against the more experienced and far better-ranked rival, scoring a 7-6, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 37 minutes for her career-best victory and secure more age milestones.
It was a mighty close encounter and Gauff had the upper hand in the pivotal moments, fending off both break points she faced and taking the opening set with a dominant 7-1 display in the tie break. The youngster fended off those break chances at the beginning of the second set, earning a break in the very next game to forge the advantage and delivering four commanding holds to seal the deal and advance into the semis.
Thus, Cori has become the youngest WTA semi-finalist since Nicole Vaidisova in Tashkent 2004 and the youngest American since Jennifer Capriati since the US Open 1991, achieving the feat before Venus and Serena Williams. Also, Gauff is the youngest American with the top-10 victory since Caprilati in San Diego 1991, cracking the top-100 as the youngest competitor since January 2005, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the tournament as she certainly wants to go all the way and lift the WTA trophy in an already a memorable season that saw her reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon as a qualifier and the third round at home Major in New York.
The American has secured the main draw spot at the upcoming Australian Open, with her coevals only preparing to hit the junior action in Melbourne.