Auckland - Unseeded German Julia Goerges burst into the WTA Auckland
Classic limelight on Thursday with a dramatic come-from-behind win to oust
Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals.
The 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 defeat of the Danish third seed and former
world number one eliminated the last of the tournament drawcards, a day after
the exit of the two top seeds Serena and Venus Williams.
Rain disruptions early in the week meant Goerges did not
take the court until Wednesday, when she had straight-sets wins over Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova and Naomi Broady.
But the 28-year-old German appeared lost for the first 10
games of her quarter-final as Wozniacki raced through the first set and took a
Then came Goerges' transformation as her first serve found
its mark, as did her powerful forehand as she reeled off six straight games to
level at one set all.
She pulled away to 5-2 in the third set only to drop a game
as she served for the match, but then made no mistake two games later.
Goerges will play eighth seed Ana Konjuh in the semi-finals
with Jelena Ostapenko, the seventh seed and only other seeded player to make
the final four, up against Lauren Davis.
Konjuh had an easy passage into the final four when Japan's
Naomi Osaka pulled out of their quarter-final with a wrist injury.
Osaka, who progressed to the quarter-finals without hitting
a ball when Venus Williams defaulted through injury, was down 0-3 in the first
set when she decided she could not play on.
Latvia's Ostapenko overcame a slow start to beat American
Madison Brengle 7-5, 6-3 in their quarter-final.
Brengle, who pulled off the biggest win of her career when
she conquered Serena Williams in the second round, quickly found her range to
race to a 3-0 lead in the first set.
But the 19-year-old Ostapenko, despite struggling with her
first serve, proved too strong from the baseline. She won five consecutive
games to take control in the first set before wrapping up the match in 88
Earlier, America's Davis knocked out fourth seed Barbora
Strycova in straight sets in the first quarter-final.
After cruising to a 6-1 win in the first set, she found the
going much tougher in the second set before prevailing in the tie-break 7/4.