Coco Gauff has bought her ticket to the Qatar Open quarter-finals after upsetting world number four Paula Badosa.
The 17-year-old cruised to a straight set win, beating the Spaniard 6-2, 6-3.
This is the first time Gauff has featured in the tournament in Doha and she is off to a flying start.
Gauff looked quick and sharp out on the court and ultimately outplayed Badosa with her forehands.
The US star struck 26 winners to her opponent’s 12 and proved to be deadly with her return of serve.
Gauff’s victory against Badosa marks her fifth win over a player ranked inside the WTA top ten. The Spanish star was also the third world number four she has beaten in her career, having previously won against Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open and Aryna Sabalenka at the Italian Open.
Building on a strong 2021
The rising US star enjoyed a strong 2021 — reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open and the US Open final with doubles partner Caty McNally.
After securing her second singles and third doubles WTA titles, Gauff became the youngest American player since Serena Williams to break into the top 25.
She continued her rise through the rankings, reaching world number 19 in September and a career high of 16 at the start of 2022.
Gauff was also selected to compete at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the youngest tennis player since Mario Ančić in 2000 to be called up to the Games. However, she was forced to put her Olympic dream on hold and withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19.
With the emergence of young trailblazers like Iga Świątek and Emma Raducanu, many thought Gauff would follow in a similar path and be well on her way to winning a Grand Slam.
The bar is set extremely high due to the success of recent teenage talent but Gauff still has plenty of time and is certainly showing promise that a major title is coming her way.