AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Julia Goerges carried her strong end-of-year form into the New Year when she beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Sunday in the final of the WTA Tour's ASB Classic, a day after Wozniacki rose to the No. 2 world ranking.
Goerges won her last two tournaments of 2017 and extended her winning streak to 14 matches when she claimed the Auckland singles title for the first time at her ninth attempt, and after two previous finals appearances.
"It's not about only winning here but it's about my consistency in the last weeks and months," Goerges said. "That's just making me proud and I'm just enjoying every moment of it."
The second-seeded Goerges forced top-seeded Wozniacki onto the defensive. She was confident in her serve, sending down 11 aces, and she pressed Wozniacki back with powerful ground strokes, hitting 22 forehand winners to four.
The loss of two days of the tournament to rain meant the quarterfinals and semifinals had to be played on Saturday and Wozniacki admitted feeling in her legs and back the effects of playing five sets in a day, saying "I'm not 17 anymore."
Goerges, in contrast, was energetic from the start, breaking Wozniacki's serve in the opening game then holding serve to love to set the tone for the match. She didn't falter on her own serve during the first set and put extreme pressure on Wozniacki.
Goerges didn't offer a breakpoint chance until the fourth game when she double-faulted for 30-40 but she immediately saved the point with an ace.
She faced another breakpoint in the sixth game but again saved it with a strong serve. It was finally in the eighth game that Wozniacki was able to convert her third breakpoint chance to level the set at 4-4.
The match then went with serve to a tiebreak in which Goerges captured three minibreaks to Wozniacki's two, serving out the match at her first attempt and improving her head-to-head record against Wozniacki to 6-4.
"We've had so many battles where Caroline came back from a score where she probably don't expect it and she's one of the best competitors in the game," Goerges said.
Wozniacki said she would move on to the Australian Open with confidence.
"I've got a lot of matches under my belt this week," she said. "It was the workout that I hoped for and now I can take a day off tomorrow and fly to Melbourne, get used to the courts over there and the conditions and hopefully it's going to be a good couple of weeks."