Julia Goerges upset top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix on Sunday.
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The 22-year-old German won in Bad Gastein, Austria, last year but had never captured a title in one of WTA’s premier events.
”I only know I won, but I don’t know how,” Goerges said. ”Playing against Caroline is like climbing a high hill.”
Goerges becomes the first German to win the tournament since Anke Huber in 1996 and will now move to a career-best ranking of No. 27.
Wozniacki was looking for her fourth title of the year.
”Julia played very well and very aggressive. I wasn’t good enough today,” said Wozniacki, who had not dropped a set in the tournament until the final and had not lost a match on clay this year.
Goerges, serving hard and going for winners, went up 3-0 in the second set and saved three break points to lead 4-1.
Wozniacki saved one match point at 5-3 on her serve but Goerges served out the match in the next game, converting her second match point with a service winner, then threw herself on the red clay in celebration.
The German collected a sports car donated by the title sponsor of the tournament.
”I walked past this car every day to practice, I never imagined that I would be driving it,” Goerges said.
By breaking into the top 30, Goerges gave Germany two slots that high for the first time since August 1999. The other is Andrea Petkovic, who will be No. 15 when the new rankings come out on Monday.
Goerges had reached the semifinals in Auckland this year and reached the third round at the Australian Open.
She had lost both previous matches against Wozniacki.
Petkovic and Goerges have helped a German women’s tennis revival and both were in the Fed Cup team that beat the United States 5-0 last weekend to secure a place in the top-tier World Group.