Absolutely Goerges

Julia Goerges’ victory in Stuttgart’s Porsche Tennis Grand Prix could open the door for German tennis to return its former heights – or at least close the gap a little.

Steffi Graf is pretty much impossible to emulate. Having won 107 singles titles in her career, including every major on multiple occasions, the current crop of Germans shouldn’t be compared to her.

But unfortunately for the success-deprived nation it’s inevitable. As Goerges saw off current world number one Caroline Wozniacki 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 to become the first German to win at Stuttgart since Anke Huber in 1994, the commentators already brought up the G word.

Andrea Petkovic’s good year along with this latest boost means there will be two German women in the top 30 for the first time since 1999 when, you guessed it, Graf and Huber retired.

As exciting as the win is for Germany, and Goerges’ father in particular as he provided some wonderful animated faces and camera shots, they can’t get too carried away.

She did just win her first WTA Premier event but it was on home soil and the next task is to produce the same performances that took her past Sam Stosur in the semis and brought 38 winners in the final, all over the world. Her very calm onlooking coach will be an important factor going forward.

It’s also not as if she’s a prodigy coming through either as she’s 22 and will enter the world’s top 30 for the first time when the new rankings are published. Wozniacki is actually two years younger and has already claimed 15 WTA titles.

Comparing Goerges to Wozniacki is harsh though as it can take a while for players to establish themselves these days (take Stosur, Vera Zvonareva and Li Na for example). What Goerges has done, along with Petkovic and the other two German quarter-finalists in Stuttgart, is propel their nation’s tennis back into the limelight.

They must now make sure this isn’t a brief moment of glory. So far at least they look capable of making tennis popular again amongst the German public as 4,800 people pushed her to the title.

Whilst Goerges drove home in the Porsche she mustn’t let it go to her head. The most important thing for herself and her fellow compatriots is to find the keys to more tournament successes and start the German tennis engine for a new generation.

Julia Goerges

Highlights of the final and some of Mr. Goerges’ facial expressions can be seen on the WTA website.

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