In an enthralling final, Julia Görges played impressively to beat the Dane Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-6. Her fifth career WTA title has moved her up the world rankings to No. 12, the highest she has ever been.
“It feels amazing being able to follow up my consistency in the last few weeks and months here in Auckland. It makes me feel prouder,” said the 29-year old German. “Such a win just before the Australian Open is fantastic. Now I’ll travel to Melbourne well-prepared and with even more confidence.” The year’s first grand slam begins on 15 January.
The third final in succession
For Julia Görges, Auckland was the third final in succession after Moscow and the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai. She however needed lots of patience en route. As a result of the persistent rain in the New Zealand city, where she also reached the final in 2016, play was washed out on Thursday and Friday. It meant that both the quarter and semifinals had to be played on Saturday. The German No. 1 kept her cool despite having to double up: she first defeated the Slovenian Polonia Hercog 6-4, 6-4 and then went on to overcome Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei 6-1, 6-4.
“I’m quite used to it,” she said. “I also compete in the doubles so it’s normal having to play twice in a day. Only the tension was a little bigger this time.”
In the final against Caroline Wozniacki, who she beat in 2011 when sensationally winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, the strenuous schedule was not noticeable. She started with a break in both the first and the second sets and then continued to play at a consistently high level. When her opponent, the winner of the WTA Finals in 2017 and the current world No. 3, upped her game in the second set, Julia Görges kept her cool and matched the Dane’s powerful shots. After one hour 30 minutes she wrapped up the win on her first match point.
Succesful first tournament week
The first tournament week of the new year also went well for two other Porsche Brand Ambassadors: Maria Sharapova reached the semi-finals at the Shenzhen Open in China. In Perth, Australia, Angelique Kerber was the runner-up at the Hopman Cup, the tournament for national teams, together with her teammate Alexander Zverev.