AUCKLAND, New Zealand - No.2 seed Julia Goerges is through to the ASB Classic final for the second time after overpowering Hsieh Su-Wei in straight sets.
Playing in her second match of the day, Goerges put in a nearly-flawless first set and overcame a late challenge from Hsieh before closing out the 6-1, 6-4 victory in an hour and 14 minutes.
Goerges pointed to her full doubles schedule - which often requires playing two matches in one day, one in singles and one in doubles - as the reason she was able to handle playing her quarterfinal and semifinal back-to-back, the result of two consecutive days of rain delays wreaking havoc on the ASB Classic schedule.
“[Playing two matches in one day] is fine for me - I’m quite used to it from playing doubles last year where I had to double up a lot of times,” she said after her quarterfinal. “This is what we train for.”
She added, “In singles it’s a bit tougher mentally, because in doubles at least you have someone to talk to. In singles you just have yourself to talk to, which is probably not the best thing.”
Goerges didn’t seem to have any trouble in the first set against Hsieh. Ranked just outside the Top 100 in singles, the player from Chinese Taipei has a lengthy doubles resume with 19 titles to her name, including two Grand Slams.
The German got off to a fast start straight out of the gate, overpowering Hsieh off the ground - playing her fast-paced, aggressive game - and on her serve. She kept Hsieh’s all-court game contained, chasing down every drop shot and countering the doubles specialist’s occasional forays to the net with crisp passes.
After methodically wrapping up the first set in just 23 minutes, Goerges faced some fightback from Hsieh in the second. The pair traded breaks twices, with the Taiwanese clawing her way back to erase Goerges’ lead each time. Goerges finally earned the decisive break late in the set after a loose service game from Hsieh gave the German plenty of second serves to attack, before serving out the straight sets win.
The victory not only sends Goerges through to the final - her third in a row - but it also extends her winning streak to 13 matches in a row after ending 2017 lifting trophies at the Kremlin Cup and the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.
Standing between the 2016 finalist and a shot at the title will be the winner of today’s second semifinal match between No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki and American qualifier Sachia Vickery.
More to follow...