Julia Goerges stunned world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 to win the Stuttgart WTA claycourt title on Sunday, becoming the event’s first German champion in 17 years.
The 22-year-old Goerges collected only her second career title to add to her 2010 Bad Gastein trophy, 17 years after Anke Huber won the second of her Stuttgart crowns in 1994.
“I don’t quite know how I did it,” admitted the German. “Against Caroline, it is always as if you have to climb a high mountain. Now I have done it, I can’t quite believe it.”
Goerges, who sent down 38 winners to Wozniacki’s nine, will now break into the top 30 for the first time in her career.
It was Wozniacki’s second final defeat in 2011 after losing to Russia’s Vera Zvonareva in Doha in February.
The 20-year-old Dane was stunned in her bid for her fourth title of the year, after wins at Dubai, Indian Wells and Charleston, as Goerges grew in confidence as the final wore on.
Goerges was only the third German to reach the Stuttgart final, but she showed no sign of nerves by taking the first set tie-breaker, after building up a 6-2 lead, and then broke Wozniacki in only the second game of the second set.
The Dane failed to cope with Goerges’ strong serve and powerful baseline shots, while the German kept her cool at the crucial stages.
She then served out for a 3-0 lead and never allowed Wozniacki to settle as she kept the world number one under constant pressure, backed by a vocal 4,800-strong crowd who cheered the new champion to her title.
Goerges played way above her new ranking of 27th, ending a successful week for Germany’s top female players.
Four reached the quarter-finals and with Andrea Petkovic set now to be ranked 15th, the host nation will have two top 30 players for the first time since 1999.
“This is great,” said Germany’s Fed Cup captain Barbara Rittner, whose team had white-washed last year’s finalists the USA 5-0 the previous weekend.
“It all fitted together just like a jigsaw puzzle for us.”
Sabine Lisicki added to the glory earlier Sunday, teaming with Australian Samantha Stosur to win the doubles title 6-1 7-6 (7-5) over Germany’s Kristina Barrois and Jasmin Woehr.
Stosur lost to Goerges in the semi-finals and is expected to move up to sixth in the world when the WTA rankings are released on Monday.
Nadal floors Ferrer to win sixth Barcelona title
BARCELONA (Reuters): Rafa Nadal underlined his crushing dominance on clay when he overwhelmed Spanish compatriot David Ferrer 6-2 6-4 to win a sixth Barcelona Open title in seven years on Sunday.
The world number one followed up his victory over Ferrer in last week’s Monte Carlo Masters final with a display of brutal hitting and near-impeccable defence to become the first player in the Open era to win two tournaments at least six times.
His run in Barcelona, where he beat Ferrer in the 2008 and 2009 title matches, was interrupted by his withdrawal last year due to injury, while his triumph in Monaco was his seventh straight title at the event.
“It’s incredible to come back here to my tournament and my fans after not being able to play last year,” Nadal said in an interview with Spanish television before hoisting aloft the huge Conde de Godo trophy.
“I am very, very happy for the win and sorry for David, who is having a fantastic year and deserves a title,” he added.
“It’s bad luck for him having to play me in three finals but it’s my sixth title here and it’s a huge delight.”
Nadal’s latest success on the red dust was the 24-year-old Mallorcan’s 31st clay title, putting him one clear of Bjorn Borg and Manuel Orantes on the all-time winners list and third behind Guillermo Vilas (45) and Thomas Muster (40).
In breezy conditions, Nadal was only troubled for brief periods by the zippy Ferrer, who made too many unforced errors against his relentless Davis Cup team mate.
The 29-year-old had beaten Nadal in the quarter-finals of this year’s Australian Open, ending his hopes of holding all four grand slam titles at the same time.
He mounted something of a fightback to take a 4-2 lead in the second set before Nadal upped his game and sealed victory on his first match point when Ferrer sent the ball into the tramlines.
Nadal’s semi-final win over Croat Ivan Dodig was his 500th career win, making him the second-youngest man ever to reach the milestone after Borg.
The European clay swing next takes him to Madrid, where he will defend the Masters title he has won twice, before attempting to secure a sixth Rome Masters and a sixth French Open crown.