ASB Classic: Julia Goerges defends Auckland title over Bianca Andreescu

Germany's Julia Goerges has gone back-to-back at the ASB Classic, beating Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in the women's tennis final in Auckland.

The world number 14 came from a set down to win 2-6 7-5 6-2, becoming the first player to win back-to-back women's titles at the event since Greek player Eleni Daniilidou pulled off the feat in 2003-04.

Goerges, 30, now has seven WTA titles.

"It feels very good," Goerges said. "A nice relief, I must say. 

"I didn't really get a foot on the court in the beginning. I didn't feel my game, but I changed my tactics a little bit.

"Once again this week, I found a way to manage to win. It was probably more worth it than a 6-2, 6-2 [routine victory]. For me, a great start to the year.

"I'm going to enjoy the victory right now and tomorrow, we're going to decide how best to prepare for the next two weeks."

At times, Goerges was tested by her 18-year-old opponent, who looked to continue the form that saw her emerge from the qualifying tournament to beat Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams and Hsieh Su-Wei en route to the final. 

Andreescu took the first set in only 30 minutes, unsettling second-seeded Goerges with the same aggressive return game and mixture of strokes that had flummoxed her earlier opponents.

Bianca Andreescu.
Bianca Andreescu. Photo credit: Photosport

Momentum began to change late in the second set, as Goerges continually put her opponent under pressure and she went on to clinch the second set in 46 minutes, with a crucial break in the 11th game.

Goerges then took the deciding third set in only 23 minutes, as Andreescu tired in her eighth match at the tournament. The German broke her opponent in the first, fifth and seventh games to defend her title.

"This meant a lot," Goerges said. "I don't know what to say right now, because Bianca gave me a hard time today.

"She played some terrific tennis, different from a lot of players on tour, and I'm sure we're going to hear a lot more of her."

Andreescu said she was proud to reach the finals, but disappointed in herself for not getting the job done in the second set.

"I think I dominated in the first set and even in the second, but at 5-4, she just started going for her shots more and more," Andreescu said.

 "I was trying not to focus on the end of the match, but obviously in my head, I was like 'Oh my God, I'm one game away from winning', so I think that kind of shifted things.

"It is disappointing, but I can't complain - I played in qualifying, I wasn't supposed to make the finals. I'm really proud that mentally I was able to hang on in there.

"I'll probably be thinking about this for a couple of days, but I can't complain. I've had an amazing week, beaten a lot of top players and I'm really proud of myself.

"My game evolved from the first match I played here until the end and hopefully, I can bring that into my next couple of tournaments."

Attention now shifts to the men's tournament, which gets underway on Monday. Games to be played on opening day include Auckland-raised Brit Cameron Norrie facing Frenchman Benoit Paire, while Canadian sensation Denis Shapovalov squares off against 2017 finalist Joao Sousa of Portugal.