WTA Miami: Simona Halep Roars Back to Beat Julia Goerges

Fifth seed Simona Halep overcame a slow start before rallying to blow past Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-1 at the Miami Open on Saturday. After trailing 3-0 in the opening set, Halep won 12 of the next 14 games to claim the win and advance to the fourth round.

Halep Battles Through First Set

Goerges found herself under pressure right from the get-go, being pushed to deuce before holding the in the opening game. She immediately returned the favour in the following game, rushing to a 15-40 lead on Halep’s serve. The Romanian saved both, but was broken at AD-Out and Georges had the early lead. She then held to extend her lead to 3-0.

Julia Goerges. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Julia Goerges. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Halep finally got on the board when she held for 1-3. Finally winning a game seemed to completely shift the momentum in the fifth seed’s favour, as she swiftly broke her opponent and held to tie the set at 3-3. Halep did not stop there, breaking once again to lead for the first time and held to give herself a 5-3 lead, having won five consecutive games.

The German finally held to snap Halep’s streak, but found herself needing to break to stay in the set. She had several opportunities to break the Romanian’s serve, but Halep saved all the break points and went on to hold, claiming the back-and-forth opening set 6-4.

Romanian Races Into Round Four

The fifth seed had a chance to break the match wide open right away in the second set, holding a pair of break points in Goerges’ first service game. While she did not manage to break on this occasion, Halep came knocking again the next time Goerges came up to serve, and this time she made no mistakes, grabbing the early break for a 2-1 lead. She soon consolidated for 3-1.

Halep drills a forehand. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Halep drills a forehand. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The momentum was now firmly with the Romanian, as Halep continued to pour the pressure onto Goerges’ serve. She would break again two games later and held to stretch her lead to 5-1. Down two breaks and needing to hold to stay in the match, the German was in deep trouble, as she had been broken twice and had only won five points on Halep’s serve so far. It seemed as though the match was over, the only question being how long could Goerges hold on.

It turned out not to be for very long. Halep did not want to serve for the match, so she continued her assault on her return, and quickly found herself up double match point at 15-40. The fifth seed would only need one, as she wrapped up the break and the match for the impressive victory in an hour and 34 minutes.

By The Numbers

Goerges will be left to regret her failure to convert seven break points, although to Halep’s credit, they were all in the first set. The Romanian was all over the German’s second serve, limited Goerges to seven points on her second serve. She only managed 61% of her first serve points. Halep won 63% of both her first and second serve points, while breaking five times out of twelve opportunities.

Halep will next take on Heather Watson for a spot in the quarterfinals.