LINZ, Austria - Maybe it's because she's close to home, maybe it's because her game is just on - but whatever it is, Julia Goerges has been tearing it up at the Generali Ladies Linz this week, and after a close finish on Friday the German No.2 now finds herself in the semifinals of the International event.
The No.5-seeded Goerges didn't drop a set in her first two rounds and kept that pattern going in the quarterfinals, building a 61 42 lead over Sofia Arvidsson and, after the Swede caught up to 4-all in the second set, made a quick dash to the finish line to close it out without hesitation in straight sets, 61 64.
"The score looks easy but the second set was definitely high quality - she stepped her level up a lot in the second set and gave me a tough time," Goerges said. "My game is to be aggressive, serve well and go for my shots, and I can't really complain about the way I'm playing - I'm moving well, waiting for my chances and going for it. Everything's working well for me so far this week."
Goerges - who at No.19 is Germany's No.2 player, only trailing World No.6 Angelique Kerber - certainly enjoys playing in Austria, so close to home.
"You can speak German and have your stuff around," she said. "I'm enjoying my time here. It's always nice to be in Austria and I hope I stay a little longer!"
Next up for Goerges is a bit of a surprise: Kirsten Flipkens. The Belgian qualifier won 11 of 12 games from 3-1 down in the first set to score the biggest upset of the tournament, taking out No.2 seed Ana Ivanovic, 64 60.
"It was a tough match to start because I know Ana is a great player, No.12 in the world, but I had nothing to lose," Flipkens said of her mentality early in the match. "I knew I had to put pressure on her from the first ball, the serve and the return, and I had to use my slice a lot today to break the rhythm too.
"I had to play qualies this week too but I think this was my best match of the week. I'm still feeling healthy and fit and I'm very happy to be through."
"I started off really well and felt I was in control at the beginning, then I just lost my rhythm," Ivanovic said. "She was playing very well today. I started to try going closer to the lines but started making more errors, and then I started struggling on my serve too. My serve went more down as the match went on."
Flipkens now has four career Top 20 wins, one in 2010 (No.15 Aravane Rezai at Luxembourg) and three in 2012 (No.5 Sam Stosur at 's-Hertogenbosch, No.13 Dominika Cibulkova at Québec City and now No.12 Ivanovic at Linz).
"Goerges is a nice opponent, a great player," Flipkens said. "I've known her for a couple of years but it's been a long time since we've played each other, so I'm just going to do my best and I hope we have a nice match tomorrow."
Saturday's other semifinal will pit No.1 seed Victoria Azarenka against lucky loser Irina-Camelia Begu, after Azarenka scored her WTA-leading 65th match win of the year over Petra Martic, 62 62, and Begu beat qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 64 16 62. Begu has been building up some major momentum recently, scoring her first Top 10 win at the US Open over Caroline Wozniacki then, a few weeks later, winning her very first WTA title in Tashkent.