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Newly minted Linz champion collected $43,000 boost

The 15-year-old girl from Florida became the youngest WTA winner when she downed 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 in Linz, Austria, recently.
Gauff is now inside the Top 100 at No. 71 in the rankings, and says she exceeded her expectations with a breakthrough that began by reaching the second week of Wimbledon.
“At the beginning of this year, I never thought that around this time, I’d be winning my first title. I’ve accomplished all my goals this year that I wanted to do,” she told the WTA.
Gauff initially fell in the final round of qualifying for Linz and only got in when another player withdrew. But she and her coaches used the defeat to adjust, noting that she had been rushing and going for too much.
“I was relieved, and I played more freely,” she said. “My body language could have been better, and my attitude on the court.
“I took that into account and I used what I learned in the next matches. My goal wasn’t really to win (upon getting back into the tournament) my goal was to improve my behavior and attitude.
“I gained more and more confidence in my strokes. I played some tough opponents, so my confidence is doing well, and it is high right now.”
Gauff is also playing this week’s WTA event at Luxembourg, with another withdrawal getting her straight into the draw.
The teen is required to play a limited schedule because of WTA age restrictions.
Gauff collected a cheque of $43,000, no doubt a fraction of what she is set to earn from sponsors in the coming years. Her management company is Team 8, the firm set up by Roger Federer and his longtime agent Tony Godsick.
The phones were ringing off the hook, said Godsick, during Gauff’s success in July at Wimbledon that earned her worldwide fame.
Back then Gauff went through qualifying rounds before upsetting one of her idols, Venus Williams. If that wasn’t enough, she also saved several match points later in defeating Polona Hercog.