Germany’s Julia Goerges stormed to victory at the WTA Elite Trophy on Sunday, hammering number two seed CoCo Vandeweghe in the final to claim her second title of the year.
The 29-year-old made an unexpected comeback in the first set to take down the fiery Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-1 in one hour and 20 minutes in Zhuhai, China, as fellow German and tennis legend Steffi Graf watched from the stands.
With the title, which comes on the heels of a win in Moscow a fortnight ago, Goerges is set to end the season with a career-high ranking of world number 14.
She joins other Elite Trophy winners Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams.
‘There is no better way to end this season,’ she told journalists after the match.
‘I’m just happy. I think I have not really any words to describe right now. I think I still can’t believe it... It’s just amazing.’
Vandeweghe started off strong in the first set, easily breaking seventh seed Goerges in the second game and holding serve in the third to give her a 3-0 lead.
But Goerges clung on, finally breaking serve in the ninth game and setting herself up for a fantastic comeback.
A fuming Vandeweghe threw her racquet on the ground in frustration before finally losing the set 7-5.
Goerges went on to dominate in the second to win seven games in a row as Vandeweghe seemed to lose focus.
The German then claimed the match with a third break of serve in the second set.
Asked how she felt about receiving the trophy from tournament ambassador Graf, Goerges said it was ‘a very special moment’.
‘I think she was very happy to give the trophy to a German player,’ she said laughing, adding that the exchange, which included getting a picture, ‘was probably worth it more than millions’.
Goerges had enjoyed a smooth road to the final, seeing off Slovakia’s number one Magdalena Rybarikova, top seed Kristina Mladenovic and Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova -- also in straight sets.
But it wasn’t all bad news for Vandeweghe, who by reaching the final overtook France’s Kristina Mladenovic to secure her place in the world top 10 -- her last goal of the year.
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