Defending champion Julia Goerges has rallied from the brink of defeat to end Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu’s fairytale run at the Auckland Classic.
The 30-year-old German clinched a 2-6 7-5 6-1 victory on her third championship point when her exhausted opponent netted a backhand after an hour and 45 minutes on court.
Qualifier Andreescu, ranked 152 in the world, had beaten former world No.1’s Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki on her way to the final, but simply ran out of steam as Goerges battled back after falling a set behind.
— ASB Classic (@ASB_Classic) January 6, 2019
“It’s not boring with me,” joked the German, who clinched a seventh WTA title. “I love to show emotions, I think it shows signs of character, that’s just the way I am. I just love to be myself.
“It means a lot but I don’t know what to say because Bianca gave me such a hard time today. She played some terrific tennis, different tennis to many players on the Tour and I’m pretty sure we’re going to hear a lot about her in the future.
“I used my experience today and really went for it in the important moments. That’s one of my best moments so far.”
— WTA (@WTA) January 6, 2019
Andreescu returned brilliantly to take the opener and led 5-4 in the second set despite struggling with a lower back problem that forced her to take an injury timeout.
“My body is honestly a mess,” the 18-year-old said after competing valiantly in her maiden WTA final. “At 5-4 in the second set, it was really hard for me to stay in the moment, I was like ‘I’m one game away from winning the tournament’, but Julia dominated at that point and started going for her shots.
“So congrats to her, it’s amazing I’ve played my best tennis this week. “
A dream week comes to an end for Bianca Andreescu, who has so much to be proud of after incredible victories over former World No. 1s and reaching her first WTA final.
— Tennis Canada (@TennisCanada) January 6, 2019
Goerges’ victory marked the first time she has defended at WTA title in her 14-year pro career.
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