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Goerges rallies past Vandeweghe to win WTA Elite Trophy

(Photo by Wang HE/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- Seventh-seeded Julia Goerges knocked off No. 2 seed CoCo Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-1 on Sunday in the final of the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, China.

Goerges reeled off 11 of the last 12 games against her American opponent in a big-hitting affair to capture back-to-back titles for the first time in the German's career following her win at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow two weeks ago.

Just a month ago, the 29-year-old Goerges was on a six-match losing streak in finals and her title drought stretched back to April 2011.

"I can't imagine a better ending to the season, two titles in two weeks ... this is the biggest one," Goerges said after receiving the trophy from her compatriot and 22-time Grand Slam champion Steffi Graf. "I'm looking forward to next year."

The match's momentum shifts hinged on the ability of each to execute first-strike tennis. Just six points in the entire match exceeded 10 strokes, and during the middle portion of the first set, 24 out of 28 straight points were won by the server.

Vandeweghe got an early break and took a 5-2 lead in the opening set before Goerges staged her comeback.

The 25-year-old Vandeweghe was serving for the set at 5-3, but a first double fault at 15-15 seemed to trigger her collapse. Another double fault followed at 5-5 and Goerges carved out a second consecutive break of serve as Vandeweghe netted a volley.

The crumbling continued in the second set for Vandeweghe, who would wind up with a first-serve percentage of just 37 percent. Three further double faults followed in the first game, and consequently so did a third straight loss of serve for the world No. 12.

Having forged a 5-1 lead in the second, the 18th-ranked Goerges accelerated over the finishing line, hammering a pair of forehand shots en route to sealing the title with a fifth break of serve.

"I think there is no better way to end this season," Goerges told reporters after the win. "It's been a great season. I have had a lot of tough losses in Grand Slams this year where I had to get over it, but I still continued to work hard and still continued to believe in my team and my work.

"At the end it paid off, and I'm just happy. I think I have not really any words to describe right now. I think I still can't believe it a little bit."

Both finalists will rise to career-high WTA rankings as a result of reaching the final. Vandeweghe will move into the Top 10 for the first time to finish the year at No. 10, while Goerges will land at No. 14.

"I felt a little flat today but Julia played really well," Vandeweghe said. "She finished by having a great two weeks. I'm just a little bit disappointed by how flat I came out for a final."

Updated November 5, 2017

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