Luxembourg Open: Goerges keeps Bencic at bay to win sixth career title

Julia Goerges rises to the occasion to win her second WTA title this season at the Luxembourg Open
Julia Goerges rises to the occasion to win her second WTA title this season at the Luxembourg Open

Julia Goerges earned a very strong win that earned her another title at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open Sunday. Despite a very hard fight from Belinda Bencic, the number one seed kept an edge from start to finish to win 6-4, 7-5 on Stadium Court at CK Sportscenter. It was the sixth career title for Goerges and the second since Auckland. Bencic earned the honor of playing an incredible week of tennis coming from the opening rounds of qualifying to make it all the way to the end.

The two met back in 2015 with the German winning on the hard courts of the Australian Open giving her the edge coming into one of the last WTA tournaments of the season. Bencic has a win over Goerges as well and with her seven-match winning streak in hand after gloriously taking down Dayana Yastremska, the former top ten Swiss star would go for it against the number one seed. She hasn’t won a final since 2016, making her epic quest so important for her to keep going.

She showed her strengths early in the set holding Goerges to love on serve that got ger into the groove. The number one seed answered but not with the same force as her opponent. She managed to stay with the 21-year-old who was determined to find the break at some point. Goerges found it right away returning Bencic’s great first serve with a crosscourt return that had her beaten in the fifth.

The Swiss qualifier called out her father who told her to find a way to counter Goerges’s strokes and send back one of her own. It didn’t come against the German’s serve as she adjusted her strategy and consolidated the break with a two-game margin. Despite having to go to deuce on Goerges; push, she held to get back within one. The 29-year-old remained firm in her quest to capture the set giving Bencic a single point in the eighth.

Serving to stay alive in the set, the 21-year-old held but had to deal with the German’s impressive service game that clinched her the first set in 36 minutes. While both were even on double faults and aces, the edge went to Goerges who managed 15 winners with most of them coming against Bencic’s service. While she had more unforced errors, it remained a comfortable set for her.

It continued to be an uphill fight for the young Swiss star as she battled on serve to force deuce with the 29-year-old who had clearly made a stance in the match. Goerges made her hold look easy but knew that she would have to continue to match what Bencic put together. During the break between the third and fourth games, Bencic was denied a chance to speak to her coach sending her into an angry rant with the umpire. After trying to get it overturned by the court supervisor, she was forced to continue playing with a lot of anger inside.

She was unable to produce a hold with that energy and instead used it to keep herself together on serve in the fifth. Another argument between the umpire ensued as a return while down 0-40 hit the roof and landed on the court. They had to replay the point which sent Bencic into a tirade. Despite picking up the lost point, Goerges held to level the score at three-all as they inched closer to the business end of the set.

Bencic continued to keep some focus together that allowed her to hold serve against Goerges putting pressure on the number one seed to match her. The German fired off two aces and a pair of winners before she committed an error. She remained poised to keep things really tight with Bencic who showed slight vulnerabilities.

Goerges hunted down the chance to break Bencic but a serve to force deuce came at the right time to give her back control of the game. Getting past Goerges on her serve in the 11th was another story as she managed to force deuce but was beaten back when she had the AD point on three occasions.

When it all came falling apart, Bencic threw her racket for a second time receiving a warning for it. Bencic was on the verge of defeat as the German easily attained three match points. One was saved by a wide return giving the Swiss star some life but a second return that sailed wide brought the match to a close, giving the 29-year-old another title victory in 1 hour and 27 minutes.

With 280 points in her pocket, the German will get no rest as she has entered the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai which she won last year. Bencic will hold on to this moment to try and build a strong showing in the 2019 WTA season.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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