Defending champion Julia Goerges is bidding to become just the third back-to-back ASB Classic winner in tournament history, following Patty Fendick (1988-89) and Eleni Daniilidou (2003-04). The German, who was also runner-up to Sloane Stephens here in 2016, has also become the first ever player to reach the Auckland final three times.
18-year-old Bianca Andreescu is the first qualifier to reach the Auckland final since Marion Maruska in 1997, and will seek to follow in the Austrian's footsteps that year in also winning her maiden title here.
Goerges has dropped just one set this week - to Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals, a match in which the 30-year-old also saved one match point. Andreescu has dropped two sets: one to Laura Siegemund in the final qualifying round, and one to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals. The final will be the first encounter between the two players.
World No.152 Andreescu is currently nine places off her career high ranking of No.143, set in August 2017 after she reached her first WTA Tour quarterfinal in Washington. She is guaranteed to smash that career high by at least 30 places on Monday, and will break the Top 100 with a title.
Andreescu is competing in just the fourth WTA-level main draw of her career, and first since Québec City 2017. An injury-marred 2018 saw the young Canadian consolidate her Top 200 position with a 43-18 win-loss record in ITF tournaments and WTA qualifying, but she fell in the final round of qualifying at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon - the closest she came to a WTA-level main draw last year.
Andreescu is the fifth player born in 2000 or later to reach a WTA final following Olga Danilovic, Dayana Yastremska, Anastasia Potapova and Amanda Anisimova, and a win in the final would make her the second-youngest player to hold a title following Moscow River Cup champion Danilovic.
Played 5 hours of tennis today and it’s 2am and I’m lying on my living room floor thinking: I miss playing. Who wants to go hit rn?
— Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) January 4, 2019
ORDER OF PLAY (starts 5pm)
Eugenie BOUCHARD (CAN) / Sofia KENIN (USA) vs [WC] Paige Mary HOURIGAN (NZL) / Taylor TOWNSEND (USA)
Not before 7.30pm
[Q] Bianca ANDREESCU (CAN) vs Julia GOERGES (GER)