World No. 14 Julia Goerges lifted her seventh singles title in Auckland on Sunday after defeating the Canadian prodigy Bianca Andreescu 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the final. With that win, Goerges has successfully defended her ASB Classic title.
It was a remarkable match that went into three sets and lasted for a little over an hour and a half. Andreescu, who earned herself quite a reputation after delivering some of the most stunning upsets in the tournament, was competing in her first WTA singles final at just 18 years of age.
She started the competition in Auckland as a qualifier and in her opening round, she edged past Timea Babos. Thereafter, she moved on to deliver a string of upsets starting with the top seed Caroline Wozniacki, sixth seed Venus Williams, and then the third seed Su-Wei Hsieh.
She did present some problems to the defending champion in the final over the course of the match. However, Goerges, being a fairly experienced player, found her rhythm and sailed to a fairly remarkable victory.
Andreescu started the first set on a dominating note. She went in with all guns blazing and quickly broke Goerges’ service back to back to take a governing 4-0 lead.
The German then broke Andreescu’s service in the next game to make score 4-1, only to squander that lead in the very next game. This continued for a couple of games before the young Canadian finally managed to take the first set with 6-2.
All in all, Andreescu converted five out of six break points to put the German in trouble.
Goerges appeared to be far more composed in the second set. She didn’t commit as many errors and managed to retain her serve for most of the set. She started off strong by breaking Andreescu’s service in the first game to eventually take a one-game lead.
However, the Canadian got back in the set after breaking Goerges’ service at 3-4. With the score now tied at 4-4 in the second set, the competition was evenly matched once again.
While it appeared that the World No. 152 will take the second set into a tie-break, Goerges got a break point at a crucial stage in the game.
At 6-5, the German was serving for the set and despite the resistance from Andreescu, she took the set 7-5.
In the third set, the tables were turned around. This time, it was Andreescu who was making errors and Goerges didn’t waste any time in capitalising on them. The Canadian kept her first service win rate at 42% while Goerges was at an impressive 90%. The inexperience of Andreescu to perform on a big stage such as this final was quite evident here.
After being broken in the very first game, Goerges took an insurmountable 3-1 lead. The World No. 14 moved on to win a couple of more break points later in the game to eventually take the set 6-1. There wasn’t much that Andreescu could do although, her resilience is something that is absolutely commendable.
The German had a stellar season in 2018 and she has certainly started the year on a positive note. As for Andreescu, she spent most of her previous season on the ITF circuit where she fared very well. Having started her campaign on the WTA Tour with such a sensational performance, it will be interesting to see how far she goes this season.