Coco Gauff youngest since Maria Sharapova in 18-year tennis first
American teenage sensation Coco Gauff has become the youngest player since tennis icon Maria Sharapova to reach the WTA Finals in a remarkable feat.
Gauff secured her position in the prestigious WTA Finals having defeated Elisabetta Cocciaretto, while Aryna Sabalenka lost to Liudmila Samsonova in the Guadalajara Open second round.
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Caroline Garcia also secured her spot in the WTA event held in Texas.
The 18-year-old has enjoyed a stellar year, which included reaching the Roland Garros final, and teh qualification of her spot in the final eight event.
Gauff moved up to a career-high ranking of World No.7 on Monday.
This reflects her results that has seen the American reach the quarter-final or better at six of her last eight tournaments.
Gauff's run stretches back to Roland Garros.
And Gauff has become the youngest player to reach the WTA Finals since Sharapova achieved the feat in 2004 at just 18 years old.
Sharapova was 17 years old when she reached the WTA Finals in 2014.
Coco Gauff is the youngest player to make the WTA Finals since Maria Sharapova in 2004.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 19, 2022
Coco Gauff qualifying for WTA year-end championships in singles AND doubles at age 18 is an unreal accomplishment.
I know there was an effort to avoid overhype Gauff when she arrived to tour, but we should probably allow ourselves to stop and say "omg wtf wow amazing" sometimes.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) October 19, 2022
To make matters more impressive for the teen, Gauff has also qualified for the doubles WTA Finals having reached World No.1 earlier this year.
She is now World No.3.
Gauff joining World No.1 Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula as the players that have locked up the first three spots.
Three openings remain for the WTA Finals.
Coco Gauff advances in Mexico
Fifth seed Gauff was not at her best but was still good enough to see off Italy's Cocciaretto 7-6 (7-1), 6-3.
The US teenager double faulted five times and converted just four of 13 break points but was the better player on the biggest points, rolling through the first set tiebreak and carrying that momentum into the second set.
Danielle Collins and Jelena Ostapenko, who both have an outside shot of making the WTA Finals, won their second round matches in Mexico, while other hopefuls including Madison Keys who defeated Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic and Belinda Bencic.
Top seed Paula Badosa retires down 6-2 to Victoria Azarenka.
Azarenka will face Madison Keys tomorrow in R3.
2021 semifinalist Paula Badosa is OUT of the WTA Finals Race and will finish 2022 outside the top 10.
(She is still scheduled to play BJK Cup Finals, though).
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 20, 2022
Despite the loss, Sabalenka has not been eliminated from making the elite eight, according to the WTA.
She currently holds a qualifying spot and will now wait to see if her points total holds up against the field.
Spanish top seed Paula Badosa was forced to retire against Victoria Azarenka, which ended her hopes of a WTA Finals Race spot.
She will now finish 2022 outside the Top 10.
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