Goerges beats Vandeweghe to win in Zhuhai

Reuters
It was the ninth win in a row for Goerges, who hit 21 winners compared to her opponent's 18 during the 1-hour, 20-minute match.
Reuters
Reuters

Julia Goerges of Germany poses with the trophy after defeating Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-2 in the women singles's final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Russia, in this October 21, 2017, photo.

Julia Goerges tamed American CoCo Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-1 in the final of the WTA Elite Trophy to claim the biggest title of her career on Sunday.

Second seed Vandeweghe got an early break and breezed to a 5-2 lead in the opening set before the German staged a brilliant comeback in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province.

The seventh seed, who won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow a fortnight back, broke back while the American was serving for the opening set and went on to win it 7-5.

Vandeweghe won only one of the last 12 games in the match as the 29-year-old pinned her with a barrage of winners while dropping just one point on serve in the second set.

Goerges was simply unstoppable in the second set and she completed the victory with a crosscourt return winner on her second championship point.

The 29-year-old screamed in delight after completing a stellar year in which she won two titles and reached five finals.

"I can't imagine a better ending to the season, two titles in two weeks... this is the biggest one," Goerges said after receiving the trophy from her compatriot and 22-time singles grand slam champion Steffi Graf.

"I'm looking forward to next year."

It was the ninth win in a row for Goerges, who hit 21 winners compared to her opponent's 18 during the 1-hour, 20-minute match.

The German, however, managed to keep her unforced errors to just nine while Vandeweghe had 22. Vandeweghe was also not helped by six double faults on her serve at crucial situations.

Despite the loss Vandeweghe will finish the year in the top 10 for the first time while Goerges will rise to a career-best 14th.

The tournament's 12-player singles field featured the leading players on the women's tour who did not qualify for last week's WTA Finals in Singapore while one wildcard was awarded to China's top-ranked player Peng Shuai.

All-time record

Earlier speaking ahead of the final, former world No. 1 Graf said that Serena Williams can "absolutely" surpass Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 grand slam singles titles if the American returns to tennis after giving birth earlier this year.

Williams has not competed since winning the Australian Open in January but the 36-year-old posted several videos on social media showing her hitting balls during her pregnancy.

Williams was about two months' pregnant when she captured her 23rd grand slam singles title in Melbourne, one short of the all-time record held by Australian Court.

"Absolutely, yes," Graf told fans and reporters.

"I think a lot of it is determined on her drive and if that is what she wants to do."

Graf won 22 grand slam singles titles which was eclipsed by Williams in January.

Williams told Vogue magazine in August about her 'outrageous plan' to defend her title in Australia, where the year's first grand slam will be played from Jan. 15-28.

"It sounds from what I hear that she is looking to come back to tennis and, you know, everything that she has shown over her career just makes you believe that if she has that in her sights then she will go after it and achieve it," Graf said.


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