Julia Goerges was not having a great year. After having a breakthrough season in 2011, the German has gone a little under the radar, unable to find the same consistency to find the form that won her the 2011 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in her homeland — her biggest singles title to date. However, Goerges has always proven to be a dangerous opposition regardless of her ranking or form, solely because of her big, powerful game. On a good day, she is able to use her heavy ground strokes and big serve to hit her opponents off the court. The 27-year-old would have to be on her A game in order to have any chance against fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki — whom she defeated in the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 2011. Having beaten the Dane the only two times they met on clay, Goerges knew exactly what she needed to do in order to expose Wozniacki’s weaknesses and cause an early upset on day four of the French Open.
Goerges started the match swinging for the lines and for the majority of the time, her shots landed in. Unable to consistently counter the German’s hard, flat shots without being put in an uncomfortable position, Wozniacki struggled to stay in touch with the German. After winning the opening set 6-4, Goerges traded breaks with the former world number one before pushing the second set to a tiebreak. This was when the German’s true test would come. Against one of the best competitors on the WTA Tour, would Goerges be able to sustain the same level — that she had done so in the entire match — or would she crumble under pressure? In the end, the German number four passed the test with flying colours, sealing the match with three consecutive winners. After an hour and 46 minutes, Goerges sealed her first victory over a top 5 player at a Grand Slam, defeating Wozniacki 6-4, 7-6(4).
Given the difference in rankings and form between the two players, this was a big upset by any standards.
“There are just some players who are a tough match-up for you, no matter the rankings, and some of them are easy match-ups no matter the rankings,” Wozniacki explained in her post-match press conference. “Obviously Julia has given me trouble in the past and she gave me trouble again today. So that kind of sucks.”
“I would like to have been through to the next round, but I'm not. So I just have to move on, I suppose. There's not much else to say.”
Shortly after the match, Goerges gave the media a brief look at what she did to give Wozniacki so much trouble.
“I don't play the typical women's game on clay,” she said. “I play a little bit more spin, a little bit higher over the net than some of the other girls.”
“When Caroline gets the ball in her striking zone, she doesn't miss any ball, but if you give her different balls, it's tougher for her to bring the ball back with her best quality. You really have to mix it up a lot. That's what I've always tried to do against her. It's never a guarantee you're going to win the match, but that's mainly what I did well today.”