Julia Goerges Ends Andreescu’s Fairytale Run To Win Auckland Title - UBITENNIS
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Julia Goerges Ends Andreescu’s Fairytale Run To Win Auckland Title

The former top 10 player battled back from a set down to add to her WTA title collection.

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Julia Goerges (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision

Second seed Julia Goerges has become the first player to win a second consecutive ASB Classic title since 2004 after battling back to defeat qualifier Bianca Andreescu 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.

The world No.14 was pushed to her limits during what was a clash of two worlds. 30-year-old Goerges was playing in her 15th WTA final and third in New Zealand. Meanwhile, teenage qualifier Andreescu, who was playing in only her fourth WTA main draw, was contesting her first final following wins over Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams. Ultimately, it was experience that prevailed as Goerges battled back to wear down her younger opponent.

“It means a lot (this win). I don’t know what to say right now because Bianca gave me a hard time today.” Goerges said in tribute to Andreescu. “She played some terrific tennis, different tennis than a lot of players on the tour and I’m pretty sure that we are going to hear a lot from her in the future.’
“I think I used my experience today and really went for it in the important moments.” She added.

On paper Goerges looked set for a straightforward win, but that wasn’t the case due to Andreescu’s furious hitting. Initially the underdog looked on course for another shock victory after a clinical first set performance that saw her win four consecutive games at the start. In comparison, Goerges leaked a series of costly unforced errors as she failed to hold four service games in a row.

Despite her rocky start, Goerges eventually found her footing at the start of set number two. Upping her intensity, she broke with the help of a winning forehand return down the line. Andreescu admirably battled back to later retrieve that break for 4-4, but came unstuck once again. Serving at 5-5, the Canadian struggled to tame the fierce hitting from her rival as she was moved around the court. Allowing the second seed to break once again before taking the match into a decider.

Gaining in momentum, the German raced through the 26-minute decider against her ailing opponent. Andreescu had heavy tapping on her right thigh and took two medical time outs during the match to have treatment on her back. Closing in on the title, Goerges saw two championship points come and go. It was on the third opportunity where she prevailed after a backhand shot from the teenager crashed into the net. Prompting an emotional Goerges to drop onto the floor before paying tribute to her coaching team.

“Today an important moment was at 5-4 (in the second set) when my coach came and helped my find solutions. I was very thankful for that, he actually woke me up a little bit.” The Auckland champion said.

Andreescu can also draw positives from her week in New Zealand, where she has recorded her first two wins over top 10 players. Becoming the first qualifier to reach the final of the tournament since 1997. She is now set to move up to a career high of 107th when the rankings are updated on Monday.

“It’s amazing, I’ve played my best tennis this week. I love these courts and I love everyone here (in Auckland).” Reflected Andreescu.

The triumph awards Goerges her seventh WTA title. She has become only the third player to have ever won the Auckland title multiple times since it was created in 1986. Following in the footsteps of Patty Fendrick (1988, 1989) and Eleni Daniilidou (2003, 2004).

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WATCH: Fans Fight Over Aryna Sabalenka’s Headband Before Security Takes Item Away

Watch the moment two tennis fans lose it over a headband!

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It is traditional for a player to celebrate their victory by throwing some of their unwanted items into the crowd. However, at the Australian Open Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka got more than she bargained for.

The 11th seed moved into the third round of the tournament on Wednesday following a 6-3, 6-4, win over Great Britain’s Katie Boulter. Recording her seventh win of the season. Shortly after her victory, she threw her headband into the crowd at the Melbourne Arena. Inadvertently creating a tug of war between two stubborn tennis fans. Resulting in them both being escorted off the premises!

https://twitter.com/JeddZetzer/status/1085438472863633408

Following the both bizarre and funny showdown between the two spectators, many are wondering who the winner was. Ironically, it was neither. According to Sporting News, security escorted both women away and then took the item from them as they couldn’t agree as to who should get it.

I guess you can’t win them all!

The two ladies involved in the tussle (image via https://twitter.com/standardsport)

 

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Kiki Bertens knocked out by Pavlyuchenkova

Pavlyuchenkova earned a big win over 9th seed Bertens, while Sasnovich also stunned 20th seed Kontaveit.

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Kiki Bertens became the highest seeded casualty in the women’s draw so far when she lost an entertaining three-set encounter 3-6 6-3 6-3 to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The Dutchwoman, 27, had her best-ever year on the WTA tour in 2018. She won three titles, including the Premier 5 event in Cincinnati, but she will not back up those successes with a good run in Melbourne.

In the first set, Bertens looked comfortable as she broke Pavlyuchenkova twice to establish a 5-1 lead. However, the Russian gained a foothold in the match when she earned her first break in the seventh game.

Pavlyuchenkova built on that momentum in the second set when she went 3-0 up thanks to an early break. And she continued to serve impressively to level the match at one-set all.

The decider was more unpredictable. The Russian broke in the first game, but her Dutch opponent responded with an immediate break back.

However, Pavlyuchenkova’s groundstrokes looked in excellent working order by this stage and she used them to great effect to break Bertens twice more in the fifth and ninth games to take the set 6-3 and clinch a superb win.

“I’m really happy with the win and the way I played today,” the Russian said in her post-match interview. “She is a very tough opponent so that is a great win for me.”

Sasnovich shocks Kontaveit

Pavlyuchenkova’s opponent in round three will be another seed-killer after Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat 20th seed Anett Kontaveit 6-3 6-3.

The Belarussian claimed a headline-grabbing win over Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon last year and she is in scintillating form so far in 2019.

Sasnovich, 24, reached the quarter-final in Brisbane and the semi-final in Sydney and she has carried that momentum into the Australian Open.

She thrashed former Grand Slam semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-1 in the first round and then beat Kontaveit almost as convincingly.

Stephens, Garcia and Martic advance

Sloane Stephens had no such trouble in her match against Timea Babos. She beat the Hungarian 6-3 6-1 to set up a third round meeting with Petra Martic, who took out Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 7-5.

Caroline Garcia also looks to be in good form. She backed up a first-round victory over qualifier Jessika Ponchet with a 6-3 6-3 win over Australian wildcard Zoe Hives.

 

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Naomi Osaka takes straight set win to cruise through to the second round

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Last year’s US Open champion and number 4 seed Naomi Osaka beat Magda Linette 6-4 6-2 in 58 minutes to cruise through to the second round at the Australian Open.

Osaka avenged her 6-2 3-6 6-3 defeat against Linette, who won their most recent defeat in the second round at Washington last summer.

The US-based Japanese player claimed four breaks of serve and hit 30 winners to just 16 unforced errors.

Both players traded breaks in the third and fourth games to draw level to 2-2. Osaka earned her second consecutive break in the fifth game to take  a 3-2 lead and held three consecutive service games at love to close out the opening set 6-4. The Japanese player held his service games in his service games and got two breaks in the third and seventh games to close out the second set 6-2.

Osaka won 24 of her 25 points behind her first serve and fired six aces.

The 21-year-old Japanese player will take on Tamara Zidansek, who stunned Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-3 in her debut at the Australian Open.

“I had a lot of fun. It’s not often that I get to play a night match at Rod Laver. For me it was the first time. I did not feel nervous either, which was a bit unexpected. I thought that I would, being that it’s the first match. I just felt like I had a lot of fun today. For me it was more a test. I was testing myself on how well I can move”,said Osaka.

This year’s Brisbane International champion Karolina Pliskova broke serve four times and dropped her serve twice to cruise past her compatriot Karolina Muchova 6-3 6-2.

Elina Svitolina dropped just three games in her 6-1 6-2 win over Viktorija Golubic with five breaks of serve.

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