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Goerges vs Bouchard tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Defending champion Goerges targets return to WTA Auckland semifinals

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 3 Jan 2019
  • Defending champion Julia Goerges faces Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals of the ASB Classic on Friday
  • Goerges vs Bouchard is live from Auckland on Friday at 1.30pm local/12.30am GMT
Julia Goerges (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Defending champion Julia Goerges targets the semifinals at the ASB Classic, but she’ll have to go past Eugenie Bouchard first.

Julia Goerges faces what could be her toughest test yet at the ASB Classic as the defending WTA Auckland champion takes on Eugenie Bouchard in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Goerges has a stellar record at the ASB Classic, compiling a 22-8 win-loss record since playing the tournament for the first time in 2010. She has reached at least the semifinals on four of her nine appearances thus far, finishing runner-up to Sloane Stephens in 2016 and beating Caroline Wozniacki in last year’s final, and hasn’t failed to reach the semifinals since 2015 when she was defeated by Wozniacki in the quarters.

Goerges on her way to victory at the ASB Classic in 2017 (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Goerges also comes into 2019 off the back of a career-best season in 2018 which saw her break into the top 10 for the first time, ranking a career-high world no. 9 in August after making a first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon. She also won titles in Auckland and Luxembourg, finished runner-up to Kiki Bertens in Charleston and was a semifinalist in St Petersburg, New Haven and Zhuhai where she finished her year with a defeat to Ashleigh Barty. 

It was a tremendous year for the big-serving German, who turned 30 in November, and if her challenge for 2019 is going to be backing up those gains, she’s made a great start in Auckland. The conditions at the ASB Classic obviously suit her, and she’s yet to drop a set, briskly ousting Johanna Larsson 6-0, 6-4 in the first round before taking out compatriot Mona Barthel in what could have been a tricky encounter 6-4, 6-4 to make her first WTA quarterfinal of 2019.

For Eugenie Bouchard, of course, 2018 was self-evidently not the best one of her career. That came in 2014 when, still a teenager, she made the semifinals or better at three of the year’s four majors, culminating in a runner-up finish at Wimbledon. Finishing 2014 at world no. 5 was followed by a crash that saw her finish 2015 outside the top 35 and it’s not really got any better from there, with a revolving door of coaches and a seemingly constant parade of minor injuries that culminated in her ranking dropping as low as world no. 193 in June 2018 after being defeated in the first round of qualifying for the French Open.

Bouchard has been on the rebound since then, however. She qualified for and reached the second rounds of Wimbledon and the US Opens, made her first WTA semifinal since the previous January in Gstaad in July and made the semifinals of Luxembourg as a qualifier (losing to Goerges) to end the year back inside the top 100 at world no. 87. She’s also teamed up with Michael Joyce after he split from Johanna Konta, and that partnership seems to be bearing some fruit.

‘I don’t want to look back and wish to be the old me,’ Bouchard said in Auckland. ‘Even in years when I wasn’t no. 5 in the world, I was still top 50. They weren’t bad years, even if the media calls them that. 

‘My ranking dropped last year, yes, I had some bad injuries but since then, since the middle of 2018, I’ve made good strides in the right direction.’

Eugenie Bouchard (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)
Bouchard started well in Auckland with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Madison Brengle, but her second-round clash with Bibiane Schoofs was a messy affair, with Bouchard squandering numerous opportunities, losing the first set despite breaking serve three times, needing a coaching timeout with Joyce that had commentators apologizing for his bad language and eventually struggling over the line after two hours and 36 minutes, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4.

To her credit, Bouchard admitted after the match that she knew she had handled the situation badly.

‘I need to be called out when I’m not doing the right thing on the court,’ she said. ‘A bad attitude doesn’t help me play better, that’s for sure, and it probably makes me play worse. I got it together a bit. It’s emotional because I really want to win but it’s about doing the job.’

It's also positive that Bouchard won the match even though she wasn’t playing well or feeling good about herself, and bodes well for her season and possible progress back up the rankings. But is she ready to beat Goerges?

Both previous meetings between the two have gone to three sets, Bouchard winning on clay at the French Open in 2014, Goerges in Luxembourg at the very end of last season. Both are power players relying on big serves and big forehands and a fairly unrelentingly aggressive approach to the game, but Goerges has more skills when it comes to finishing off the point at net thanks to all her doubles experience, and she looks to be playing great tennis in Auckland once again. It should be the defending champion who comes through to the semifinals at the ASB Classic once more.

Goerges vs Bouchard tennis is live from Auckland on Friday at 1.30pm local/12.30am GMT

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Goerges vs Bouchard tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Defending champion Goerges targets return to WTA Auckland semifinals

Julia Goerges vs Eugenie Bouchard live streaming, preview and predictions for the ASB Classic Auckland semifinal match on Friday 4 January: Power players face off for a semifinal spot as defending champion Goerges takes on former world no. 5 Bouchard

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