Mon, Jan 08, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Goerges blasts way to victory in Auckland


World No. 14 Julia Goerges yesterday won her third successive tournament as she blasted her way to a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory over Caroline Wozniacki to seal the Auckland Classic title.

Goerges was rarely troubled by the world No. 3 as she used a powerful service and blistering forehands that kept the Dane pinned deep and unable to extend rallies beyond a few shots.

The 29-year-old German, who has played at the Auckland tournament every year since her first visit in 2010, extended her winning streak to 14 matches stretching back to last year, when she won in Moscow and Zhuhai, China.

“It feels amazing, but it’s not just about winning here, but about my consistency over the last few months,” Goerges said after she became the first woman to be presented with a korowai, or Maori feather cloak, that is to be awarded to every subsequent winner. “I have become much more mature — that’s thanks to my team who have really changed my brain.”

Goerges stamped her intentions on the opening point when she smashed a forehand service return back at Wozniacki’s feet and broke to take a 1-0 lead that she never relinquished.

She sealed the first set after 35 minutes with her seventh ace and then broke Wozniacki again in the first game of the second set and continued to overpower.

Wozniacki had an opportunity to get back on serve in the fourth game when she had a break point, but Goerges simply pulled out another ace and consolidated her lead.

“I have got a lot of matches under my belt and it was the type of preparation I hoped for,” Wozniacki said as she looked ahead to the Australian Open, which is to begin on Monday next week. “Hopefully it will be a great couple of weeks.”



French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko yesterday had an upset 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 loss to Ekaterina Makarova on a sweltering opening day of the Sydney International.

No. 3 Ostapenko was one of two highly seeded players to exit the women’s draw in the first round, with fifth seed Kristina Mladenovic retiring from her earlier match while trailing Australian wildcard entry Ellen Perez 6-4, 4-2.

Goerges also withdrew from the tournament after winning the Auckland Classic citing a right knee injury.

The conditions forced organizers to activate heat policies — including longer breaks between sets — during part of the day, with some areas of western Sydney experiencing the hottest day in nearly 80 years, with temperatures peaking above 47oC.



Nick Kyrgios yesterday clinched his maiden tour title on home soil in a big confidence boost ahead of the Australian Open, beating Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-2 in the Brisbane International final.

Carrying a niggling knee injury, Kyrgios made a rusty start and was forced to save five break points before he carved out his first break in the seventh game.

The 22-year-old claimed the first set before taking control of the match after his opponent dropped his serve at the start of the second set with a frustrating double fault.

Kyrgios, ranked 21th in the world, broke big-serving Harrison again in a sublime second set display to close out the match and seal his fourth career title.

Deep runs at grand slam events have eluded Kyrgios, but a strong start to the season, including a semi-final victory over world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov, should put him among the early contenders for the first Grand Slam of the year.

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