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Zhuhai | Defending champ Goerges makes semis

Zhuhai | Defending champ Goerges makes semis

Defending champion Julia Goerges rallied from a break down in the second set to seal a 6-2 7-6(5) win over Elise Mertens in the Rose Group at the Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai on Thursday, and with it, a return trip to the semi-finals.

After being beaten by Anett Kontaveit in three sets on Wednesday, Goerges needed to win in two sets against the Belgian No 1 in the group’s final round robin match to gain her spot in the final four, but she was within two points from being eliminated.

The 29-year old was pushed all the way in the second set by her 22-year-old Belgian opponent, but the German managed to clinch the nail-biting tiebreak, 7-5, at the Hengqin International Tennis Centre.

The straight sets victory was enough to take her to the top of the group, and the World No 14 jumped with joy and punched the air in celebration.

Mertens had needed to win one set to become the semi-final qualifier out of the Rose Group, and she led 30-15 in the 10th game when she served for the second set.

The Belgian also saved 3 match points from 0-40 down as she later served at 5-6, but was unable to win the ensuing tiebreak to put herself in the final four.

Mertens, one of the six players on tour with three or more titles this season, could have broken into Top 10 by reaching the final undefeated or with the title.

It was the oldest player in the draw, Goerges, who celebrates her 30th birthday on Friday, however, that recorded her first Top 20 win since getting the better of No 20 Kiki Bertens during her Wimbledon semi-final run this July, and tied Mertens having posted 46 main draw wins this season, behind only Karolina Pliskova (49) and Petra Kvitova (47).

About The Author

Barbara Wancke

Barbara Wancke is a Tennis Threads Tennis Correspondent who has been involved in the sport for over 40 years, not only as a former player, umpire and coach but primarily as an administrator and tennis writer contributing over the years to Lawn Tennis, Tennis World, and Tennis Today. She has worked with the Dunlop Sports Co, IMG and at the ITF as Director of Women’s Tennis, responsible, amongst other things, for the running of the Federation Cup (now Fed Cup), and acting as Technical Director for tennis at the Seoul Olympics (1988). She subsequently set up her own tennis consultancy Tennis Interlink and was elected to the Board of the TIA UK where she became the Executive Administrator and Executive Vice President until she stood down in July 2014 and is currently an Honorary Vice President.

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