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Goerges Toughs It Out, Stosur Rematch Set

Julia Goerges made a winning return as defending champion at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

Published April 24, 2012 12:00

Goerges Toughs It Out, Stosur Rematch Set
Julia Goerges

STUTTGART, Germany - Sam Stosur and Julia Goerges won first round matches at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on Tuesday, setting up a second round rematch of their blockbuster semifinal clash from a year ago.

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The No.5-seeded Stosur was the first to advance, converting on all five of her break point opportunities and needing just 59 minutes to beat Peng Shuai, 62 62, her fourth win in four career meetings against the tenacious Chinese.

Stosur had beaten Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber in straight sets at the same venue over the weekend as Australia played Germany in Fed Cup.

"I was ready to go," Stosur said. "I guess it's kind of handy to have been here for a week already, whereas all the other girls arrived late yesterday. Sometimes the best preparation doesn't always equal the best results, but it doesn't hurt to play Fed Cup matches at the same place as the next event you play.

"It was nice to play as well as I did and get through in straight sets today."

Since the tournament moved to clay courts, Stosur has always gone very deep here in Stuttgart - she was a finalist in 2010 (falling to Justine Henin) and a semifinalist in 2011 (falling to Goerges). Stosur enjoys it here very much.

"We drive around in nice Porsches and eat great food," the Australian added. "The tournament is very well organized and they look after us very well!"

Goerges won through later in the day, dropping a tight 54-minute first set but then getting early breaks in both the second and third sets to edge Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in front of her adoring German home crowd, 57 63 64.

"It's not normal I come here as defending champion," Goerges said. "It was a new situation and I was a little bit nervous and tight at the beginning, but I am happy I managed all of it at the end and was able to fight through today.

"Of course there will be expectations and pressure on you, but every sport's the same, and if you're able to manage it well you can keep going higher."

Goerges might also benefit from being one of four Germans who have really gone higher over the last year, alongside Petkovic, Kerber and Sabine Lisicki. "We're all pretty good friends," Goerges commented. "We hang around a lot, drink coffee together and talk, not just about tennis. I think the fans are appreciating us and getting more interested in tennis, which is great."

Goerges has beaten Stosur in both of their previous meetings, most notably a 64 36 75 semifinal victory right here last year in which she really lifted her game at the end, winning eight of the last nine points of the match.

"Sam is a Grand Slam champion and No.5 in the world, so obviously she's a great player," Goerges said. "She's a great person too - I have to say she's a nice girl and I get along well with her. We've played some doubles and we're going to play more. I like watching her game too - she's so athletic.

"We had a tough match here last year. I hope we can make a good rematch."

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