Saturday, July 26, 2008

Who is Julia Goerges, and why does she keep beating Katarina Srebotnik?

When Kararina Srebotnik lost in the first round at Wimbledon, I was surprised and disappointed, but not completely shocked. Grass is not exactly Srebotnik's surface, and her opponent was Julia Goerges, who has made a bit of a dent in the tour. Ranked 99 in the world (she has been ranked as high as 93), Goerges played only five tour events last year. She reached the semifinals at Stockholm, beating Maria Elena Camerin, Klara Zakopalova and Emelie Loit. She also beat Agnes Szavay in the first round in Doha, and won two ITS singles titles and two doubles titles.

This year, Goerges reached the quarterfinals in Memphis, defeating Bethanie Mattek along the way, and, of course, defeated Srebotnik in a 3-hour, 40-minute affair at Wimbledon. She has also failed to qualify on several occasions, and had some first round losses when she did qualify. The 19-year-old German is part of a triad of young German players--Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber are the others--who are worth watching.

Just the other day, Goerges defeated Srebotnik again, this time at the Slovenian Open, her home tournament. In her Portoroz blog, Srebotnik said that--the day before their match--she ran into Goerges and joked that, at least in Portoroz, they would have a tiebreak in the third set. In her post-match blog entry, Srebotnik wrote that after she went up an early break at 3-0 in her match against Goerges, she felt confident, but from then on, Goerges played so well in every aspect that there was nothing she could do to stop her. Goerges won the match, 6-4, 6-2.

Goerges will have her work cut out for her in today's semifinal. She plays clay specialist Anabel Medina Garrigues, but Medina Garrigues can handle a hard court, and is generally a good strategist and willing to last a long time.

No comments: