Into the Luxembourg final for the third time after finishing runner-up to Roberta Vinci in 2010 and beating Belinda Bencic last year to claim the title, Goerges is looking to become the first woman to win back-to-back Luxembourg titles since Kim Clijsters won a trio of consecutive crowns in 2001-13.
The German is also looking to bookend her season with successful title defenses, having defeated Bianca Andreescu in the final in the first week of January to retain the ASB Classic title in Auckland. It’s been a mixed season for Goerges, who has had some injury problems and compiled a 27-19 win-loss record, and is down to world no. 26 after breaking into the top 10 last year: She went 1-4 on European clay, suffered first-round defeats at the Australian and French Opens and failed to defend her semifinal points from Wimbledon last year, losing in the third round to Serena Williams (talk about an unlucky draw, to be fair). But she also made a Premier final in Birmingham, finishing runner-up to Ashleigh Barty, and reached the last 16 of the US Open in addition to the Auckland title defense mentioned above; and she has been on determined form in Luxembourg this week, where three of her four wins to reach the final have seen her come back from a set down.
Goerges had to dig herself out of a one-set hole against Misaki Doi, Sorana Cirstea and Monica Puig before getting her first straight-sets win of the week in Luxembourg against Elena Rybakina in the semifinals. Rybakina has had a brilliant season, winning her maiden WTA Tour title in Budapest and reaching another final in Nanchang, and had only lost a handful of games on her way to the Luxembourg semifinal, but had little response to the power and precision of Goerges as the German won 6-3, 6-4 in 98 minutes, saving all three break points she faced and converting seven of the eight she created.
Goerges will be up against a familiar face in Jelena Ostapenko – but not so familiar on the other side of the net; the two have often played doubles together but the Luxembourg final will be their first match against each other.
At the very last minute, Ostapenko looks to have revived a season that was threatening to go down as disastrous. The 2017 French Open champion, who was ranked as high as world no. 5 in March 2018 after reaching the Miami Open final and made the Wimbledon semifinal last year, plummeted down the rankings to world no. 82 after a fairly hapless first half of the season, and things did not get much better as she failed to win back-to-back matches in five tournaments on the Asian swing after going out in the third round of the US Open.
But Ostapenko unexpectedly teamed up with 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli as coach in the past fortnight, and it’s borne even more unexpected fruit with the Latvian making back-to-back finals for the first time in her career. She reached her first final for 18 months at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz last week, beating Rybakina and last year’s finalist Ekaterina Alexandrova before finishing runner-up to Coco Gauff in three sets, and has brought that same form to Luxembourg on her tournament debut. Defeating Gauff’s double partner Caty McNally in the first round in straight sets, Ostapenko battled back from a set down to beat top seed Elise Mertens 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 and trounced qualifier Antonia Lottner before coming back from a set down again vs Anna Blinkova in the semifinals.
Blinkova, like Rybakina, had been on great form and dominated the first set before Ostapenko, with the intervention of some advice from Bartoli, clawed her way back into the match, ramping up the aggression and conviction on her serve and reaping the benefits as she won 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 53 minutes.
Now looking for her first title since Seoul in 2017, which would be just the third of her career, Ostapenko has a 2-4 record in WTA finals and I’m not sure she’s going to improve it in Luxembourg, where Goerges (who is 7-9 in WTA finals) played her best match of the week to beat Rybakina and looks to have gained plenty of confidence from surviving those tough tassles in early rounds.
Expect Goerges to bookend an up-and-down season with successful title defenses and retain the Luxembourg trophy on Sunday.
Goerges vs Ostapenko BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open tennis is live from Luxembourg on Sunday at 3pm local/2pm BST
Goerges vs Ostapenko tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Can Goerges bookend season with successful title defences?
Jelena Ostapenko has improbably made back-to-back WTA finals but could be denied a first title in two years by defending…
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.