AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Julia Goerges defended her singles title at the WTA Tour’s ASB Classic, ending the amazing run of Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in Sunday’s final.
At first, the 18-year-old Andreesecu, ranked 152, looked likely to continue the form that saw her emerge from the qualifying tournament to beat Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and third-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei on the way to her first final.
She took the first set in only 30 minutes, unsettling second-seeded Goerges with the same aggressive return game and mixture of strokes which had flummoxed her earlier opponents.
But the tide of the match changed late in the second set as Goerges began to put more first serves in play and to gain more depth with her ground strokes, forcing Andreescu onto the defensive.
Georges 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 tired in her eighth match at the tournament. She broke Andreescu in the first, fifth and seventh games to clinch her seventh WTA Tour singles title.
“This meant a lot,” Goerges said. “I don’t know what to say right now because Bianca gave me a hard time today. She played some terrific tennis, different from a lot of players on the tour and I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot more of her.”