Top seeded Julia Goerges held off a strong challenge from the fast improving Eugenie Bouchard while Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu also made it to the WTA Auckland semi-final with her second big upset in a row.
Germany’s Goerges needed to save match-points in her 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(6) win over Canadian Bouchard, coming back from a set down and then a match point down at 5-6 in the final set to reel off three successive points and win the encounter in the Auckland Open.
This was a match played in extremely tough conditions where gusty wind played a part. And as a result, it not just went neck in neck for both players but the match also lasted nearly two and a half hours before the winner was decided.
Bouchard got the early momentum and after winning an early break, clinched the first set. Goerges, who had suffered from lack of rhythm in that opening set, turned things around in the second and converted one of the four break-points she managed to create.
Unfortunately for the Canadian, she was unable to convert any of her break points and Goerges swept away with the set to take it to the third.
Both players got their chances to break the other in that final set including a match point for Bouchard in the 12th game of the set but nothing came off it and Goerges’ superior serve helped her carve out a narrow victory.
Goerges will take on Viktoria Kuzmova in her semi-final with the Slovakian winning her quarter-final against American Amanda Amnisova.
And while one Canadian crashed out of the tournament in the quarter-finals, there was another who continued her giant-killing spree with a win over the sixth seeded Venus Williams. Andreescu won 6-7, 6-1, 6-3 after having shocked the top seed Caroline Wozniacki in her second round match.
Andreescu, who is currently outside the top 150 in the WTA rankings, has only qualified for a Grand Slam once and was dumped out in the round one of the 2017 Wimbledon. So for this 18-year-old to now have dumped two former Grand Slam champions out of the competition would not just propel her rankings forward but also give her a lot of confidence going into the semi-finals.
She will take on the winner of the match between Hsieh Su-wei and Sara Sorribes Tormo in her semi-final.