DOHA, Qatar - No.9 seed Julia Goerges played a near-flawless first set to storm past Lucie Safarova and make her way into the second round at the Qatar Total Open.
The German won 100% of the points off her first serve and didn’t face a single break point in the 23-minute opening set. Safarova made her comeback in the second, but Goerges outlasted to win 6-1, 7-5 in just 66 minutes.
“It was a pretty solid first set from my side,” Goerges said in her on-court interview. “I knew that she’s coming from indoors from Fed Cup, so I just tried to be aggressive from the very first point and move her around, and it worked out very well today.”
Goerges, who’s won three of the last five tournaments she’s played after lifting trophies in Moscow, Zhuhai and Auckland, started off with an almost untouchable service performance in the first set.
Up against Safarova, the German lost just three points across all her service games, and she didn’t face any break points. Instead, Goerges employed her relentless aggression to keep Safarova under pressure and break twice to close out the one-sided opening set.
She faced more fight-back in the second, where she saw her booming serve finally get broken as Goerges and Safarova traded breaks early on. Safarova did well to hang in the games with Goerges and even stood two points away from bringing up a tiebreak. But Goerges stayed calm even as Safarova raised her level, her heavy hitting drawing out the unforced errors from Safarova’s racquet to earn the second and decisive break of serve.
Goerges’ big serving made the difference in the match, and she finished with seven aces and serving at 63% first serves. She stayed on the attack, hitting 18 winners and 17 unforced errors against Safarova’s 10 winners and 27 unforced errors.
Goerges will take on either Barbora Strycova or Aleksandra Krunic in the second round.
More to follow...