ZHUHAI, November 4, 2017
Germany’s Julia Goerges will take on American CoCo Vandeweghe in the final of the Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai on Sunday.
Goerges scored a dominant 6-3, 6-3 win over Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova before Vandeweghe ended the hopes of 21-year-old Australian Ashleigh Barty with a 6-3, 6-3 win in Saturday’s second singles semi-final.
Goerges is now on an eight-match winning streak having qualified for Zhuhai by taking the Kremlin Cup title two weeks’ ago. Against Sevastova, she delivered another impressive performance and showed her opponent very few signs of weakness.
“It was my best match of the week. I’m just very happy that I could put up this performance today. I think I moved pretty good. I always came behind the ball and really met the ball in front of me, which is very important to really create good shots, because if you don’t have your sweet spot and don’t have the right point where you meet the ball, I think there’s always a certain danger in it that it may not find the target,” Goerges said.
“I think overall I was very patient, and when I had the chance I really went for it. That this comes out that I’m in the finals, even better. I’m just trying to enjoy it tomorrow.”
Looking ahead to the final, Goerges added:
“I would say it probably helps me a bit to have played already a lot of finals this year and to just come from a tournament win.
“Every match starts from zero, and I know it’s going to be my last match of the season, so I’ll just put everything in what I have and trying to enjoy it, too, because it’s, yeah, it’s not happening every day that you’re gonna play a big final, especially at the end of the season where it has been long already and a lot of matches in for me. But I’m just trying to really go for it and play my game and enjoy it at the same time.”
“First of all, I just focus on myself and my game, and I think that’s more important than just to focus on your opponent. Here and there you’re going to have tactics and structures, but my main goal is just to focus on the things which we have been working on. Doesn’t matter who is going to be on the other side of the court.”
This week has proved to be a return to form for Vandeweghe. The American has won three matches so far in Zhuhai but prior to that had not won a WTA Tour match since reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open in September.
This could be a significant month in Vandeweghe’s career. After Zhuhai she is due to travel to Minsk to be part of Team USA at the 2017 Fed Cup final against Belarus.
“I think my results through my whole career have always been early exits or I go deep in tournaments. I play better the more I play on the court. I like to compete. I feel more comfortable, more confident with my strokes,” Vandeweghe told.
“You get out there and play a match and win it, and then you’re used to winning. Then you win the second one. It starts to steam-roll from there. I can’t really explain why that happens, but it just happens. I try to not have a first-round exit. But you never know what happens when you show up to a tournament. You try and win it. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
“I’m only playing tennis to enjoy myself. I like to have fun with what I do. Hopefully I’ll have a good showing tomorrow in the final.”
Both players – but perhaps Goerges in particular – may be given extra motivation on Sunday by the presence of German tennis legend Stefanie Graf, who is an ambassador for the tournament and is scheduled to be part of the presentation party for the singles final.
A victory at the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai would represent the biggest title of either player’s career. Vandeweghe’s performances this week have already secured her a place in the Top Ten in the 2017 year-end rankings. A win for Goerges would propel her up to 14 in the world from her current ranking 18.
Goerges and Vandeweghe have played twice before, with the head-to-head record tied at 2-2.