Zhuhai birthday joy for Goerges

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail SHINE, November 2, 2018
Adjust font size:
Defending champ Goerges returns to Zhuhai semifinals. [photo: WTA]

Defending champion Julia Goerges gave herself an early birthday present yesterday by beating Elise Mertens to book her place in the semifinals of the WTA Elite Trophy.

The fifth seed bounced back from a bruising defeat to Estonia's Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday, beating Mertens 6-2, 7-6 in a tense round-robin tie in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province.

Goerges, who turns 30 today, was pushed all the way in the second set by her 22-year-old Belgian opponent, but she clinched the nailbiting tiebreak 7-5 at the Hengqin International Tennis Center.

"Well actually I don't feel like 30 yet," Goerges told her post-match press conference. "With my performance today I gave myself the best present I could ask for tomorrow."

The straight sets victory was enough to take Goerges to the top of the group, and the world No. 14 jumped with joy on court and punched the air in celebration.

Asked if she knew she had to win 2-0 qualify, the German said: "I knew what I had to do today and I think it was up to me to dictate the game.

"It's never easy when you know you have to play extremely well to beat someone in straight sets, especially here, where there are only the best players in the world.

"I'm obviously very, very happy that I made it in the end."

Earlier, Australia's Ashleigh Barty beat an out-of-sorts French No. 1 Caroline Garcia to keep her semifinal hopes alive.

Ninth seed Barty broke Garcia once in each set to win the round-robin tie 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour and 16 minutes.

Barty, who lost to Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka on Tuesday, now has to wait for the outcome of the Garcia-Sabalenka match to see if she will progress.

"It's out of my hands," Barty said in her post-match press conference.

"I just have to sit back and watch tomorrow. But I'm certainly pleased to have had the year we've had and really nice to finish on a positive note today."

She said she was in a "win-win situation", being able to "play with freedom", but knowing that if she lost she could still go home at the end of the season.

Garcia, 25, was crowned champion in Tianjin in October, but she was unable to bring that form into her opening match.

The world No. 18, seeded eighth, said she had some back pain coming into the tournament, and felt her legs weren't moving the way she wanted on court.

"It was a very difficult match for me today and I think she played great but I wasn't feeling very good and didn't have the rhythm I wanted."

Second seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia beat China's Zhang Shuai 6-0, 7-6 (10) in yesterday's evening game.

The Elite Trophy features 12 players ranked roughly from 9 to 20. This year's total prize money is US$2.35 million across the singles and doubles tournaments.

In Paris, Novak Djokovic celebrated his return to the summit of world tennis with a stroll into the quarterfinals at the Paris Masters as outclassed Damir Dzumhur had to retire with injury in the second set of their third-round clash yesterday.

The Serb, who learned on Wednesday that he would be back as world No. 1 next week following Rafael Nadal's withdrawal through injury, was leading 6-1, 2-1 when the Bosnian submitted to a back problem that had flared up in the first set.

Djokovic extended his winning streak to 20 matches and equalled a personal record of 29 consecutive completed sets won as he maintained the remarkable spell of form that has seen him rise from No. 22 in June to the top of the game again.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter