No.5 seed Julia Goerges scored a decisive win over Ekaterina Makarova, easing into the semifinals of the Connecticut Open where she'll take on Aryna Sabalenka.
David Kane
August 23, 2018

NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - Julia Goerges earned a solid victory over former WTA doubles No.1 Ekaterina Makarova, 6-4, 6-2, to reach her fifth semifinal of 2018 at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies.

"It took me a little while to adjust to a lefty again, because I haven't played a lefty now for two or three weeks," Goerges said in press. "It's very rare on tour. For me, it took a bit of time to really get used to her pace, to her shots.

"I think I managed it really well, that I stayed in every single point, every single game. Overall I'm very satisfied the way I performed and played today.

"I talked a lot about tactics with my coach since I've never beaten Katya. For me it was important to change things up. Overall I think we did a very good job as a team there."

Goerges had indeed never beaten the Russian in two previous encounters - including a heart-breaking three-set loss at last year's Citi Open final - but the German turned the tide in New Haven, needing just an hour and 19 minutes to advance and win her 17th hardcourt match of the season on Stadium Court.

"I think my attitude was very important today. I stayed focused on every point I was playing and really went for my shots. It's part of my game to be aggressive and I'm really glad it worked out so well."

Trailing Makarova by an early break to start the match, Goerges won six of the next eight games to swipe the opening set, breaking serve in the ninth game to serve it out on her second set point.

The Wimbledon semifinalist fell behind an identical 0-2 deficit to start the second, but turned things around after a titanic fifth game that featured five deuces, allowing the World No.9 to win the final six games of the match.

In all, Goerges struck an impeccable 29 winners to 25 unforced errors; the typically aggressive Makarova hit just six winners of her own, and made 18 unforced errors in two sets.

In between playing a late night match against Dayana Yastremska and edging past Makarova today, Goerges also managed to have a little fun, breaking down the new serve clock for Connecticut Open fans.

Up next, Goerges will face up-and-coming Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals, where she'll seek to avenge her 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 loss at Eastbourne in the pair's only previous meeting.

To reach the semifinals, Sabalenka had to fight through a tough battle against Belinda Bencic, winning 6-3, 6-2.

"I played against her in Eastbourne and it was quite tough match," Sabalenka recalled. "She was really aggressive. She was playing really well there.

"It's will be one more tough match for me. After a lot of three-sets matches, I'm ready for everything. I'm don't care about whom I'm playing. Just like come on the court and just try to show my best."