LUXEMBOURG - No.2 seed Julia Goerges will look to make it back-to-back titles at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open after fighting past No.3 seed Elena Rybakina in straight sets.
After having to come back from a set down in all her three matches, defending champion and 2010 finalist Goerges enjoyed a more straightforward path to final with her 6-3, 6-4 win over Rybakina.
“It was my best match of all week,” Goerges told reporters after the match. “Good serve, good variation and the speed was good.
“I was able to break the rhythm of my opponent. I did a good job with my serve and took my chances, being aggressive when I needed to be.”
With eight break point chances created between the two players, the first set was far from the straightforward affair the scoreline would suggest. Goerges was under pressure from the start, and found herself broken in a marathon opening service game. She recovered emphatically, breaking straight back to level at 1-1, and had to dodge another pair of break chances as Rybakina looked to take back the lead.
Rybakina will likely rue her missed opportunities, though, as she had two more break chances at 2-2. Instead, it was Goerges who raised her level and held firm, breaking a game later to make it 4-2. With the lead in hand, the German’s booming serve kept her in control as the set came to a close - Goerges dropped just one point in her last two service games, taking the set 6-3.
But while the opening set saw several shifts in momentum and opportunities for both, it was one-way traffic for Goerges in the second. The German quickly opened with a break of serve at 1-0, and slammed the door on Rybakina’s break back chances as she fought through another break point to make it 2-0. Rybakina couldn’t manage to find any inroads into the German’s service games, however, and Goerges comfortably sealed the match in an hour and 27 minutes.
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Goerges fired 28 winners and four aces against Rybakina, committing just 15 unforced errors across both sets, while Rybakina hit 20 and eight, respectively. The German was clinical on break points as well, converting three from three while keeping Rybakina contained to just one break from eight chances.
Into her second final of the year after her triumph at Auckland in January, Goerges will take on former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko for the first time in a mouthwatering final. The resurgent Ostapenko took down No.8 seed Anna Blinkova, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 earlier in the day to advance.
“[Here there is a] very good atmosphere,” Goerges said. “I was feeling the support of all the fans, and I feel very welcome.
“Tomorrow I will have to be on from the first minute, and I'm looking forward to it!"