No.2 seed Anastasija Sevastova took home her first WTA title since 2010 and her first on grass, outlasting Julia Goerges in three sets to triumph at the Mallorca Open.
WTA Staff

MALLORCA, Spain - A year after finishing runner-up at the inaugural Mallorca Open, Anastasija Sevastova went one better in Spain, surviving three tough sets against Julia Goerges to win her first WTA title in seven years, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Sevastova's first title came all the way back in 2010, when she won in Estoril a month after her 20th birthday; three years later, she left the sport citing persistent injuries and illnesses only to make a comeback in 2015.

Her second career results eclipsed those of her first when she reached two more finals last summer in Mallorca and Bucharest, stunning Garbiñe Muguruza en route to the US Open quarterfinals. In what has been a quietly breakout year for the Latvian veteran, she began 2017 with a run to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semifinal and her first Premier Mandatory semi at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Sevastova went three sets in each of her first three matches in Mallorca, but played some of her best tennis in what was a rematch of last year's final, knocking out defending champion Caroline Garcia to reach her first final of the year.

Across the net was Goerges, who had never been beyond the Round of 16 in any grass court tournament on the WTA level. The German shocked the field by rolling into the final with the loss of just 14 games - knocking out the likes of top seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki in her first tournament of the season.

"I’ve known you a long time, and there were some years when you told me you didn’t want to play tennis anymore, and now here we are," Goerges said during the trophy ceremony. "I’m so glad I was able to play this final against you because I think you’re a great player. I’m so happy you’re back in tennis, but hopefully you’ll let me win next time, and play many more finals together."

The duo exchanged breaks in the middle of the opening set only for Sevastova to emerge on top. Goerges took control to start the second, taking a decisive break in the sixth game to ultimately serve it out and level the match.

Serving first proved crucial for Sevastova in the decider, and the 27-year-old served out the win on her first match point after two hours and 14 minutes on court.

Goerges' aggressive game kept Sevastova on the backfoot throughout the match with a +7 differential of 32 winners to 25 unforced errors, but the No.2 seed matched that differential with 17 winners and just 10 errors of her own. By match's end, only two points separated the pair, with Sevastova winning 96 points to 94.

An emotional Goerges thanked her team after the match, crediting them with helping her enjoy the sport again.

"Jules, don’t cry!" Sevastova said, opening her speech addressing her friend in German.

"It’s my second final here. I won, but it was a tough match. I hope the tournament will be back here next year."

Sevastova was set to partner former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic against top seeds Martina Hingis and Chan Hao-Ching in the doubls final later today, but the Latvian was forced to withdraw due to a left thigh injury.