LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Simona Waltert ended up with a victory in her WTA main-draw debut, as the 18-year-old wild card moved past top seed Julia Goerges of Germany, 6-7(5), 6-4, 3-2, ret., to reach the second round of the Ladies Open Lausanne on Friday.
"I was a bit nervous before the match, but I think that’s normal," Waltert told the media, after the match. "Actually, the home crowd was pretty cool and I just loved every minute out there."
On home soil, the former 9th-ranked junior, who has won four ITF World Tour titles and holds a WTA ranking of No.562, pushed World No.25 Goerges into a final set, where the German retired after two hours and six minutes of play, following multiple visits from the trainer to work on the German's right wrist, which she injured during the match.
The Swiss teenager converted six of her 11 break points and won 72 percent of points on her first serve during the encounter, as she picked up a Top 25 victory in her first-ever main-draw match at WTA level.
"I’m happy with the way I played, actually," said Waltert. "I tried the things I wanted to try, and it worked pretty good. I think I can be very happy with my performance today."
Waltert will now face a compatriot in the second round, as the wild card will meet the winner of the opening-round battle between countrywomen Timea Bacsinszky and Jil Teichmann, which will take place later on Tuesday.
Les gagnants du concours Timea Bacsinszky Challenge ont pu échanger quelques balles avec la Vaudoise ainsi que des autographes aujourd'hui au Ladies Open Lausanne ! 🎾 pic.twitter.com/2x93qaKdOV
— Ladies Open Lausanne (@WTA_Lausanne) July 15, 2019
In the opener, Goerges was twice up an early break at 2-0 and 4-2, but the Swiss teenager fought back each time, staying with the former Top 10 player throughout the opening frame. Goerges claimed a set point on Waltert’s serve at 5-4 with a forehand winner, but the wild card fended it off with a backhand winner after a strong serve, and eventually held for 5-5.
The duo advanced to a first-set tiebreak, which was just as closely contested as the set had been. Goerges reached 2-0 with a forehand winner, but Waltert eked ahead 4-3 after missed returns by the German. However, Waltert double faulted to hand a 6-4 lead and two set points to Goerges, and the German converted her second opportunity with a fine crosscourt backhand.
Goerges again was twice up a break in the second set, but once more, the Swiss teenager eventually pulled level both times, en route to 4-4. Waltert deployed a winning dropshot to hold for 5-4 and put pressure on Goerges to serve to stay in the second set.
Waltert took initiative in the next game with big returns, and she fired a Goerges service back down the line to claim double set point. Goerges saved both and held two game points, but after a double fault by the German, another backhand winner by Waltert gave her a third set point. The Swiss player converted that chance with another return winner, and the match was one set all.
In the decider, Goerges had two visits from the trainer, and though the German pulled back from 3-0 to break Waltert and get back on serve at 3-2, the top seed was unable to continue after her sixth double fault put her down 0-30 in that game.