Goerges rallies past teen Andreescu to retain Auckland title

Bianca Andreescu

Bianca Andreescu is now set for a career-high ranking

Julia Goerges defended her singles title at the WTA Tour's ASB Classic, ending the incredible run of Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in Sunday's final.

But Gorges fought back to take the match 2-6 7-5 6-1.

However, the 18-year-old Andreescu had a great start this season, reaching the Auckland singles final after awesome victories against top seed Caroline Wozniacki and former World No.1 Venus Williams.

It was Goerges' turn to make swift progress in the second as she finally overcame the aggressive Andreescu return after breaking for an early lead and, although the Canadian briefly hit back, the match was all square after two sets. "I'm really proud that mentally I was able to hang on in there", Andreescu said after the Sunday match, according to Wtatennis.com.

In an extremely one-sided contest, she went 4-0 up and converted the first set point with a ripping forehand victor. "She came firing out of the blocks and really didn't give me any rhythm", Goerges said before crediting a pep talk from her coach that helped inspire the fightback. But the tide changed late in the second set as Goerges began to put more first serves in play and gain more depth with her ground strokes, forcing Andreescu onto the defensive.

She broke three more times in the decider to claim her 15th WTA title. "She played some terrific tennis, different from a lot of players on the tour and I'm sure we're going to hear a lot more of her".

Sevens days ago, Andreescu entered the qualifying rounds of the Classic, unheralded and hoping to get in a few matches before chancing her arm in qualifying at the Australian Open.

The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., downed the legendary Venus Williams 6-7 (1), 6-1, 6-3 in a quarterfinal on Friday at the ASB Classic.

The 30-year-old German's triumph saw her become the first woman to defend the Auckland title since Greece's Eleni Daniilidou won in 2003 and 2004.

Goerges' semi-final on Saturday will be against Viktoria Kuzmova after the world No 50 from Slovakia scored a 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory over American Amanda Anisimova in the opening quarter-final.

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