CHARLESTON, SC, USA -- No.5 seed Julia Goerges of Germany reached her second final of the year -- and her seventh final over the last 12 months -- with a straight-set semifinal victory over No.8 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, 7-6(5), 6-3, at the Volvo Car Open on Sunday.
World No.13 Goerges, who leads the WTA in aces this season, avenged a third-round loss to Sevastova at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last month, and extends her head-to-head record over the Latvian to 5-2.
The German had 45 winners during the match, well outpacing her 33 unforced errors overall. Sevastova also had 23 winners to just 13 unforced errors, but could only convert one of the 14 break points she held during the tilt.
Goerges will now square off against No.12 seed Kiki Bertens in the championship match, after the Dutchwoman survived against No.7-seeded American Madison Keys in the earlier semifinal. Goerges will be going for her fourth title in the last six months.
The match had started on Saturday with a bang, when Goerges had to save seven break points in her opening service game to hold for 1-1. Once the players reached 4-4, though, inclement weather forced a stoppage after 34 minutes of play. When it became apparent the precipitation showed no signs of abating, the match was abandoned for the day.
Upon resumption on Sunday, both Goerges and Sevastova appeared unaffected by the postponement. The competitors moved efficiently and served effectively, holding through to the tiebreak with no break points against either player.
Goerges won the first point of the tiebreak by returning a Sevastova drop shot with a winning drop shot of her own, and the German raced to a 6-1 lead in the breaker from there. Sevastova saved four set points in a row, two with stunning forehand winners, but right after the Latvian got back on serve in the tiebreak, Goerges pummeled a backhand service return down the line for a winner, taking the set.
The games became longer and the points more frequently covered the entire breadth of the court in the second set, and Goerges had to save break points in two of her first three service games en route to a 3-2 lead. The German's persistence paid off when she clinched the sole break of the set in the next game, taking a lengthy service game off of Sevastova after the Latvian hit back-to-back forehand miscues.
Serving at 5-3, Goerges saw her first two match points go begging, as Sevastova's returns picked up pace with the Latvian's back against the wall. But an overhead by the fifth seed set up a third match point, and this time, the German converted it, after another Sevastova forehand went wide. The match spanned two days, but in the end, Goerges triumphed, moving into the championship match.
More to follow...