WTA Auckland: Julia Goerges claims third straight WTA title

The German brings her rich run of form from 2017 into the new year after defeating Caroline Wozniacki in the ASB Classic final.

WTA Auckland: Julia Goerges claims third straight WTA title
Julia Goerges starts 2018 like she ended 2017, a champion (Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Julia Goerges
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Caroline Wozniacki

It was the clash of the two end-of-the-year tournament champions to start off 2018. The final between Caroline Wozniacki and Julia Goerges at the ASB Classic was the matchup everyone was waiting to see as the WTA Finals winner met the WTA Elite Trophy winner.

In the end, it was Goerges who took home the title with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over Wozniacki. The win will move the German to a career-high ranking of 12 when the new WTA rankings come out Monday. 

Goerges Strikes Early

It was the dream start for Goerges in the opening game of the first set. Up 15-40, she smacked a forehand return winner down the line to give her the immediate lead in the match. The German was winning the baseline battle in this match, which is something that can be tricky to get done against the former world number one. 

A nice one-two serve and forehand combo gave her a 3-1 lead as she was looking very comfortable so far in the match. After that first service game where the 27-year-old Dane was broken, neither woman was really tested on serve for the remainder of the set. 

Both players displayed some fine tennis as Wozniacki continued to find her trademark down the line backhand while the 29-year-old German continued to push through with one-two serve and groundstroke combinations even with the second serve. Goerges capped off a glorious first set with an ace down the tee.

Wozniacki had some trouble vs Goerges in the final (Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Wozniacki had some trouble vs Goerges in the final (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Wozniacki Fights Back But Goerges Claims Title

The German continued to overpower Wozniacki as she had her on the defensive once again in the opening game. Up 15-30, a huge cross-court backhand followed by a drop shot caused an error from the Dane to give two break points to Goerges. The Zhuhai champion would break in the opening game, just like she did in the first set.

Even when Goerges was in trouble, she was still displaying excellent tennis. Serving at deuce up 3-2, the German was on the defensive before hitting a scorching backhand down the line to give her game point as she went on to hold up 4-2. 

Goerges finally blinked in the eighth game. Wozniacki was able to find a first-serve return and finished off the point with that trademark down the line backhand which saw her level the set at four apiece. The former world number one was forced to save a couple of break points in the ensuing service game but saw off the German.

An ace from Goerges saw the second set head into a tiebreak. Serving down 3-4, Wozniacki seemed to be controlling a baseline rally against the German before a massive backhand down the line set up a forehand winner to give Goerges a mini-break. The wide serve followed by a forehand into the open court gave Goerges a third straight tour-level title and her 14th consecutive win as she brings a rich vein of form into the Australian Open.