January 30, 2018 / 5:30 PM / 24 days ago

Goerges storms past Sakkari in St. Petersburg

(Reuters) - Big-hitting German Julia Goerges tamed Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-2 7-6(5) to reach the second round of St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Tuesday.

Fifth seed Goerges fired 37 winners, including 10 aces, and faced only two break points in a convincing victory in her first meeting with Sakkari in the main draw of an event.

“I just wanted to focus on my game and be aggressive on my shots,” Goerges, who recorded her 16th victory in her last 17 matches, said.

“I know she’s a very good mover and she’ll make you see a lot of balls and I just tried to make sure that I was aggressive and taking charge of the game.”

There had been no hint of a break in the early exchanges, yet from a comfortable position in the sixth game Sakkari dropped her serve after Goerges hit a couple of ferocious forehand winners.

The world number 12 sealed the first set on the back of two precise cross court backhands that her 22-year-old opponent was unable to answer.

Goerges appeared to have lost her ruthless edge in the second set but had enough firepower to beat Sakkari in the tiebreak and secure victory in an hour and 33 minutes.

She will next face Italian Roberta Vinci, who outplayed Czech Tereza Martincova 6-2 6-2 in the other opening round match.

Russia’s Vera Zvonareva recorded her first victory against a top 30 player since 2015 as world number 28 Kiki Bertens was forced to retire due to illness after losing the opening set 6-4.

“It’s not how I wanted to win,” former world number two Zvonareva said. “I want to wish her a speedy recovery.”

The 33-year-old will face world number six Jelena Ostapenko in the second round.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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