Under 21s, players ranked No. 20, everyone gets to play a year-end championship nowadays in professional tennis.
The latest also-ran champion is Germany’s Julia Goerges, who on Sunday beat American CoCo Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-1 for the year-end title at the WTA Elite Trophy, a tournament for players who finish No. 9-20 on the WTA rankings.
Goerges won 11 of the last 12 games to clinch her second straight title after Moscow. In October the German broke a six-final losing streak.
“I have had a lot of tough losses in Grand Slams this year where I had to get over it, but I still continued to work hard and still continued to believe in my team and my work,” said the 29 year old. “At the end it paid off, and I’m just happy…It’s actually a complete new start for me since I have achieved a new career high ranking with my new team. I got two new titles in three weeks. It’s just amazing.”
Goerges came back from a 2-5 deficit in the first set as Vandeweghe’s momentum collapsed in a flurry of key doubles faults and unforced errors off her forehand strength.
“I think CoCo played a pretty good seven games,” Goerges said. “I was nowhere near finding my rhythm in these games, and she was just hitting the ball so clean and so deep…She gave me a few loose points there which brought me back into that set. I just tried to hang in there. Somehow you always get a chance, and if you have a chance you still need to take it, but I’m very glad that I could take it.”
The result will bring both players to career highs when the new rankings are released on Monday — Goerges to No. 14, and Vandeweghe to the Top 10 for the first time at No. 10.
“It was a special moment to win my biggest title and receive the trophy from Steffi [Graf] and share the moment with her and even get her on the picture,” said Goerges, who improved to 4-7 in career finals. “It’s very rare. I know this. I think that’s probably worth it more than millions.”
Vandewehge fell to 0-2 in 2017 finals and 2-3 career, and was looking for her first title since 2016 ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
The WTA Elite Trophy was not broadcast live on Tennis Channel nor on the WTA’s official broadcaster beIN Sports.
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