6 Jan 2019

Finals day at ASB Classic: Teen upstart vs Defending Champ

10:10 am on 6 January 2019

The defending champion and a teenager will meet in today's final at the ASB Classic women's tennis tournament in Auckland.

German second seed Julia Goerges, the 2018 winner, and Canadian sensation Bianca Andreescu were the winners of the respective semifinals on Saturday.

Julia Goerges from Germany at the ASB Classic 2018.


Goerges beat the world No 50, Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova, 6-1 7-6 (6) in first-up, before Andreescu beat Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan 6-3 6-3 to complete the day's play.

Goerges, ranked 14th in the world, raced out of the blocks, thumping winners and making few errors as she stormed through the first set.

Still just 20, Kuzmova began to steady herself at the start of the second.

While it didn't pay immediate dividends, as Goerges grabbed another break to take a 4-2 buffer, the young Slovakian was gradually building in confidence.

Kuzmova went from 4-2 down to 5-4 up, seemingly now on the front foot as Goerges appeared to tighten with the finish line in sight.

But the 30-year-old German mustered all her experience to force a tiebreak and after blowing a pair of match points, found a couple of big shots to finally seal her berth in the final.

The last player to win back-to-back women's singles titles in Auckland is Greece's Eleni Daniilidou, who lifted the trophy in 2003 and 2004.

Meanwhile the 18-year-old Andreescu used a mixture of power and precision to overcome third seeded Hsieh.

The world No 28, 33-year-old Hsieh is renowned for her crafty play, with an often expert ability to take the pace off the ball and use the angles of the court.

But Andreescu's relative inexperience certainly didn't show as she used her power game but also showed her own ability to use deft touches to outsmart her opponent.

Including qualifying, Andreescu has now played seven matches to just four for Goerges to reach the final.

"I'm just going to try and do what I did this whole week. I wasn't really expecting to get this far but now I've beaten a couple of top players so my confidence is there, that's for sure," Andreescu said.

"I know I have nothing to lose, this is my first WTA 250 [final] so I'm just going to try and enjoy every moment.

"I really don't want to think about (winning) but it's hard not to. It would be a dream come true. I've been working so hard for this moment and it's really finally happening."