A dogged Julia Goerges put together a gritty semi-final performance to deny Caroline Wozniacki the chance of retaining her 2011 Dubai Tennis Championship title.
Julia Goerges serves up a surprise at the Dubai Tennis Championships
DUBAI // A dogged Julia Goerges put together a gritty 7-6, 7-5 semi-final performance to deny Caroline Wozniacki the chance of retaining her 2011 Dubai Tennis Championship title on Friday night.
Dubai debutant Goerges, ranked 19 in the world, will now face Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in Friday night's final after the No 6 defeated Jelena Jankovic in the evening's first semi-final.
Goerges broke Wozniacki early in the third set and although Wozniacki showed glimmers of her 2011 form, from then on the writing was on the wall for the Australian Open quarter finalist.
The unseeded Goerges, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the opening round, was spared a second-round clash with Australian Open champion and world No 1 Victoria Azarenka when the Belarusian was forced to pull out with an injury.
Last night she won six break points and hit two aces on her way to the first set tie-break, which she won 7-4. Wozniacki was given an animated talking to from her father and coach, Piotr, between sets but the on-court coaching could not shake Wozniacki out of her malaise.
The 21 year old took more than 10 minutes to lose her opening service game and could never really find her rhythm against the German's bombardment.
Goerges did not have it all her own way however and Wozniacki seemed to rally midway through the second set, to lead 4-2 at one point. But she couldn't sustain her momentum, and Goerges dug deep to fight back, beating Wozniacki for the first time on hard court.
"It's nice to be in the final of a premier event and beat these top players," said Goerges. "It was a pretty tough match. We played for more than two hours for two sets and I don't know how it would have gone in the third set.
"It wasn't my best match at all but it's important you get through those matches."
Goerges, who has two career singles titles, said her game had improved since playing in the Fed Cup last season and reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open this year.
"I learned a lot from Australia," said Goerges, who was dispatched from the tournament by her finals opponent, Radwanska. "I have more confidence and I stay there fighting for every ball.
"She [Radwanska] killed me in Australia but tomorrow's a new match and it's a new challenge. I won't change my game in any way just because I'm playing her. When you are in the final you just want to go out there and go for it on the court."
Wozniacki will now go home to Monaco to work out the kinks in her game before going on to an exhibition in New York ahead of Indian Wells.
"It's always been very close with us but I didn't play my best game tonight," she said. "I need to make less mistakes with my backhand, first of all, and I could have served better as well."