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Goerges wows with comeback to lift WTA Elite Trophy

By Agencies - Nov 06,2017 - Last updated at Nov 06,2017

Julia Goerges of Germany celebrates with the trophy after her victory against Coco Vandeweghe of the US in the women’s singles final at the WTA Elite Trophy tournament in Zhuhai, China, on Sunday (AFP photo)

ZHUHAI, China — German Julia Goerges tamed American CoCo Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-1 in the final of the WTA Elite Trophy to claim the biggest title of her career on Sunday.

Second seed Vandeweghe got an early break and breezed to a 5-2 lead in the opening set before the German staged a brilliant comeback.

The seventh seed, who won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow a fortnight back, broke back while the American was serving for the opening set and went on to win it 7-5.

Vandeweghe won only one of the last 12 games in the match as the 29-year-old pinned her with a barrage of winners while dropping just one point on serve in the second set.

Goerges was simply unstoppable in the second set and she completed the victory with a crosscourt return winner on her second championship point.

The 29-year-old screamed in delight after completing a stellar year in which she won two titles and reached five finals.

“I can’t imagine a better ending to the season, two titles in two weeks... this is the biggest one,” Goerges said after receiving the trophy from her compatriot and 22-times singles Grand Slam champion Steffi Graf.

“I’m just happy. I think I have not really any words to describe right now. I think I still can’t believe it... It’s just amazing,” said Goerges.

“I’m looking forward to next year,” she added.

It was the ninth win in a row for Goerges, who hit 21 winners compared to her opponent’s 18 during the one hour 20-minute match.

The German, however, managed to keep her unforced errors to just nine while Vandeweghe had 22. Vandeweghe was also not helped by six double faults on her serve at crucial situations.

Despite the loss Vandeweghe will finish the year in the top 10 for the first time while Goerges will rise to a career-best 14th.

The tournament’s 12-player singles field featured the leading players on the women’s tour who did not qualify for last week’s WTA Finals in Singapore while one wildcard was awarded to China’s top-ranked player Peng Shuai.

Asked how she felt about receiving the trophy from tournament ambassador Graf, Goerges said it was “a very special moment”.

“I think she was very happy to give the trophy to a German player,” she said laughing, adding that the exchange, which included getting a picture, “was probably worth it more than millions”.

Goerges had enjoyed a smooth road to the final, seeing off Slovakia’s number one Magdalena Rybarikova, top seed Kristina Mladenovic and Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova — also in straight sets.

Meanwhile, former World No. 1 Graf on Sunday said Serena Williams can “absolutely” surpass Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles if the American returns to tennis after giving birth earlier this year.

Williams has not competed since winning the Australian Open in January but the 36-year-old posted several videos on social media showing her hitting balls during her pregnancy.

Williams was about two months pregnant when she captured her 23rd Grand Slam singles title in Melbourne, one short of the all-time record held by Australian Court.

“Absolutely, yes,” Graf told fans and reporters ahead of Sunday’s WTA Elite Trophy singles final in Zhuhai. 

“I think a lot of it is determined on her drive and if that is what she wants to do.”

Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles which was eclipsed by Williams in January.

Williams told Vogue magazine in August about her “outrageous plan” to defend her title in Australia, where the year’s first Grand Slam will be played from January 15-28.

 

“It sounds from what I hear that she is looking to come back to tennis and, you know, everything that she has shown over her career just makes you believe that if she has that in her sights then she will go after it and achieve it,” Graf said.

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