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Goerges vs Andreescu tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Goerges faces teenage Canadian sensation in WTA Auckland final

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 5 Jan 2019
  • Julia Goerges faces qualifier Bianca Andreescu in the ASB Classic final on Sunday
  • Goerges vs Andreescu is live from Auckland at 7.30pm local/6.30am GMT
Julia Goerges (Photo by DAVID ROWLAND / AFP)

Julia Goerges goes for back-to-back ASB Classic titles as she takes on teenage sensation Bianca Andreescu for the WTA Auckland title.

World no. 14 Julia Goerges is aiming to become the first player in 15 years to win back-to-back WTA titles at the ASB Classic – but first she will have to find a way to stop the giant-killing run of 18-year-old Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu.

Not since Eleni Danilidou took back-to-back titles in 2003-4 has a WTA player successfully defended the ASB Classic title.

Goerges defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the final 12 months ago to claim her first WTA Auckland title and also finished runner-up to Sloane Stephens in the 2016 final, so this will be her third tilt at the International-level crown – but the first time she will have faced a player in the final who has significantly less experience than she does.

The big-serving German had to save match point against an inspired Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals, but otherwise her progress to the final has been smooth sailing: A 6-0, 6-4 win over Johanna Larsson, 6-4, 6-4 against Mona Barthel and a 6-1, 7-6(6) victory over Viktoria Kuzmova in Saturday’s semifinals to maintain a perfect record against the Slovakian.

‘Today, I think I came out and played pretty good, and I think the biggest part today was about my legs,’ Goerges said afterwards. ‘My legs were working really good, I was moving really sharp, and I was really ready for everything.’

The 30-year-old Goerges is looking for her seventh WTA career singles title in Auckland and a dream start to a season which she surely hopes will be a repeat of the career-best 2018 season which saw her win titles in Auckland and Luxembourg and finish runner-up in Charleston as well as reaching her first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon.

Goerges said that she felt experience was key to her victory over Kuzmova in helping her play the big points better, and experience will certainly be on her side again against Andreescu, who is playing not only her first WTA Tour final but her first main draw of a WTA Tour event for over a year.

Andreescu is the first qualifier to make the ASB Classic final since Marion Maruska won the title in 1997, and the fifth player born in 2000 and later to make a WTA Tour final; if she wins the title, she will be second only to Olga Danilovic as the youngest player to hold a WTA Tour title.

The Canadian 18-year-old made her initial breakthrough in 2017 when she qualified for Wimbledon and made a first WTA quarterfinal at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., but injuries hit in 2018 and she struggled to forge upwards, winning two ITF titles and reaching a further two finals but falling in the final rounds of qualifying for Wimbledon and the French Open.

Bianca Andreescu (Photo by DAVID ROWLAND / AFP) 
Currently ranked world no. 152, Andreescu could not have dreamed of a better start to 2019, however. Not only did she win three matches to qualify for the main draw at the ASB Classic, she’s gone on an incredible tear once there, beating Timea Babos, world no. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, 11-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and finally Su-Wei Hsieh, who had a great season in 2018, 6-3, 6-3 to reach her first WTA final.

After the shotmaking she displayed against Wozniacki and Williams, I thought Hsieh’s tricky, choppy game might be the downfall of Andreescu, but instead she smartly changed up her tactics, making liberal use of the drop shot – usually her opponent’s hallmark – and opting not to feed Hsieh the pace she loves. 

‘This week I've been playing a lot of different types of gamestyles,’ Andreescu said. ‘But I think I prepared very well before this match. I knew she was a very tricky player - I just tried to stay patient and aggressive.’

The teenager will need to change tactics again as she faces Goerges – but having already beaten Venus Williams is pretty good preparation for facing a player whose game is built around a big serve and a powerful forehand.

‘I know Goerges is a very aggressive player, and she uses her serve to take control of the points - so if I don't do that then I'm kinda screwed,’ Andreescu said, acknowledging that her own erratic serve makes her more vulnerable.

If Andreescu has a good serving day, she has options enough in her already impressive game that it’s very plausible for her to take this incredible run all the way to the title. Goerges must be sharp, trust to her footwork in windy conditions and not allow the youngster to find her feet if she is to successfully defend her ASB Classic title.

Goerges vs Andreescu tennis is live from Auckland on Sunday at 7.30pm local/6.30am GMT

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Goerges vs Andreescu tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Goerges faces teenage Canadian sensation in WTA Auckland final

Julia Goerges vs Bianca Andreescu live streaming, preview and predictions for the ASB Classic Auckland final match on Saturday 5 January: Goerges must end qualifier Andreescu’s giant-killing run if she is to win back-to-back titles

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