Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Bianca downs Venus, reaches maiden WTA semi-final

Bianca downs Venus, reaches maiden WTA semi-final

Julia Goerges drew on her experience to retain the WTA Auckland Classic title on Sunday as she came from a set down to end the stunning run by Canadian teen sensation Bianca Andreescu.

The gallant Andreescu saved two match points at 1-5 down, but couldn't save a third, as Goerges claimed her second Auckland trophy.

Thereafter, she moved on to deliver a string of upsets starting with the top seed Caroline Wozniacki, sixth seed Venus Williams, and then the third seed Su-Wei Hsieh.

Although she dropped her own serve at 4-4, Goerges gathered herself to break Andreescu again at 5-5 and held serve to take the set.

"I think it's really important to me to just stay in the present moment and I think I've been doing that this whole week and I'm beyond grateful right now".

Goerges clinched the second set in 45 minutes with a pivotal break in the 11th game, then took the deciding third set in only 23 minutes as Andreescu exhausted in her eighth match at the tournament.

"I've played my best tennis this week but my body is honestly a mess", the 18-year-old said.

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"It is disappointing, I was one game away from winning the match, so I'll probably be thinking about this for the next couple of days", said Andreescu, who earned entry into the tournament as a qualifier.

"I believe that anything is possible and tonight I think I did the impossible", Andreescu said. She was also very close to winning her first single WTA Tour title.

If the Canadian can build on what she displayed this week, there will undoubtedly be plenty more finals in the future. Wozniacki, meanwhile, is the world No. 3 and the reigning Australian Open champion.

Goerges ousted Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., earlier in the week on her way back to the championship match.

Goerges' semi-final on Saturday will be against Viktoria Kuzmova after the world No 50 from Slovakia scored a 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory over American Amanda Anisimova in the opening quarter-final.

The 30-year-old German's triumph saw her become the first woman to defend the Auckland title since Greece's Eleni Daniilidou won in 2003 and 2004.

The US$250,000 WTA Tour event is a warmup for the first Grand Slam of the season.

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