The defending ASB Classic champion and the 2nd seed Julia Goerges is through to the semi-final after a great battle with Eugenie Bouchard, saving a match point in the 12th game of the deciding set to notch a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 win in two hours and 28 minutes. Their previous two matches also went to the distance but this was by far the closest match these two have played, pushing each other to the limits all the time and wit the same amount of points won until 6-6 in the deciding tie break! Both players were focused in the pivotal moments and we saw two breaks on each side from 17 break chances they created in total, staying toe to toe in the second part of the third set to keep the crowd on the edge of their seats.
Eugenie repelled two break points in the opening game to avoid an early setback and she grabbed the lead after a forehand down the line winner in game four for a 3-1. Goerges saved a set point in the eighth game but Bouchard served well to take the opener 6-3 with a service winner in game nine.
The German found her range in set number two, dropping five points in five service games and earning a break at love in game six when Eugenie sprayed a forehand error, firing an ace in game nine for a 6-3 and the momentum before the deciding set.
There, the Canadian forged the lead when Julia netted an easy forehand in game two but she stayed in front only for three games, sending a forehand long in game five to lose serve and keep Goerges in contention. Julia had the opportunity to move in front when she created a break point in game nine but Eugenie saved it to stay in the hunt, creating a match point on the return in game 12 that Goerges dismissed with a forehand down the line winner that proved to be one of the most important shots of the entire match.
The defending champion controlled her forehand at 6-6 in the tie break as well for her third match point and sealed the deal with an amazing volley winner in the 14th point to move into the last four. In another thrilling match, an 18-year-old qualifier Bianca Andreescu took down the 6th seed Venus Williams 6-7, 6-1, 6-3 in two hours and 24 minutes for her biggest result in a career. The youngster got broken five times from 11 chances she gave to Venus but the American couldn't take advantage of that, losing ground in sets two and three to push Bianca over the finish line.
Williams faded from the court in her service games after the opening set and Bianca did everything right to bring the match home and secure an amazing win to stay on the title course. The result stayed with serve in the opening four games despite chances on both sides and they traded four straight breaks after that to stay locked up at 4-4.
Venus did well to save two break points in game nine and she won the tie break 7-1 to move a set away from the win. The veteran broke at love at the start of the second set but Andreescu was there to fight, breaking Venus three times in a row and securing the third set with a service winner at 5-1.
With a huge momentum on her side, the youngster raced into a 5-0 lead in the decider before losing serve twice in a row while serving for the match in games six and eight. Venus tried everything to perform a comeback but her serve let her down completely, suffering another break in game nine to send Bianca over the top. Quarter-final results:
[Q]Bianca Andreescu (CAN) vs Venus Williams (USA) 6-7(1) 6-1 6-3
Viktoria Kuzmova (RUS) vs [WC]Amanda Anisimova (USA) 6-3 2-6 6-4
Julia Goerges (GER) vs Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 3-6 6-3 7-6(6)
Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) vs Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 6-3 6-2