WTA Birmingham: Ashleigh Barty and Julia Goerges set title clash

Tennis - If she wins the title, Ashleigh Barty would become world no. 1 for the first time

by Jovica Ilic
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WTA Birmingham: Ashleigh Barty and Julia Goerges set title clash

Kicking off the season from the top-15, Ashleigh Barty was ready to challenge the players from the very top, claiming titles in Miami and Roland Garros and reducing the gap to Naomi Osaka. After Paris, Ashleigh was right there with the struggling Japanese and will have the opportunity to pass her if she wins the title in Birmingham, facing her doubles partner Julia Goerges in the title match.

Barty is through to the tenth WTA final and the fourth of the season, defeating Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 24 minutes, fending off all five break points and delivering one break in each set to seal the deal and move into the final.

The Aussie fired 11 aces and played better in the crucial moments, controlling the scoreboard to oust the Czech for the third time in a row. Barty drew first blood in the fifth game after a double fault from Strycova, saving two break points in the next game to confirm the advantage and move 4-2 up.

Ashleigh sealed the opener with a smash winner in game ten, holding at love and hoping for more of the same in set number two. There, Barbora stayed in touch until 4-4 when Barty broke at 15, forging the advantage and moving over the top with a hold at 15 in the next game to advance into the tenth WTA final and the second in Birmingham.

There, Ashleigh will have to battle against her doubles partner Julia Goerges who toppled Petra Martic 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 22 minutes, facing only two break points and getting broken once. The Croat needed much more to stay competitive, losing half of the points in her games and suffering four breaks from ten opportunities given to the German.

The opening set offered nine easy holds and one loose service game from Martic that cost her the set, with Goerges breaking at 15 at 4-4 before closing it with another great performance on serve a few minutes later. They traded breaks at the beginning of the second set and it was Julia who took charge after fending off a break point in the fourth game, securing breaks in games five and nine to march over the top and book the place in the 16th WTA final, the first since Auckland where she defended the title won in 2018.

WTA Birmingham Ashleigh Barty Julia Goerges
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