Gauff Becomes Only Third Teenager In Last Decade To Defend WTA Title

Gauff Becomes Only Third Teenager In Last Decade To Defend WTA Title

by Jordan Reynolds

Coco Gauff has joined a small group of teenagers to defend a WTA title in the last ten years after winning the 2024 ASB Classic.

The 2021 US Open champion has been in action at the ASB Classic in Auckland to start her season. She played well from the first match of the event and reached the final, facing last year's Wimbledon semifinalist Elina Svitolina.

Gauff defended her title by beating Svitolina. The 19-year-old had to do it the hard way, though. She lost the opening set in a tie-break but recovered very impressively to claim a hard-fought 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 win.

It is the ideal start to 2024 for Gauff. The American is an outstanding player regardless, but to be so good as a teenager is absolutely incredible, and Gauff now joining such a small group of players to have defended a WTA title in the last ten years demonstrates this.

OptaAce has confirmed that Gauff is the third teenager in the last decade to defend a WTA title. She was far more comfortable in last year's final against Rebeka Masarova, winning 6-1 6-1. But who are the other two players to achieve the feat?

The first is Leylah Fernandez, who recently withdrew from the 2024 Adelaide International. 2021 US Open runner-up Fernandez achieved this on the Mexican hard courts in Monterrey, beating Viktorija Golubic in the 2021 final and Camila Osorio in 2022.

The second is the woman Gauff beat in Auckland. Svitolina achieved this record in Baku in 2013 and 2014. Her final victories were both in straight sets, against Shahar Pe'er and Bojana Jovanovski.

Fernandez and Svitolina are both outstanding players. Replicating their feats as teenagers is a great achievement for Gauff. However, Gauff is the only one of the three to win a Grand Slam as a teenager, and her expectations for the future are sky-high.


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