Doubles partners Barty, Goerges to face each other in Birmingham final

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Ashleigh Barty and Julia Goerges are a doubles team at this week’s Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham and before stepping on the Anne Jones Centre Court for their doubles semifinals, the players won their singles semifinals and will face each other in Sunday’s title match of the Premier-level tournament.

Closing in on the WTA No.1 ranking, second seed Ashleigh Barty got to a one-match distance from dethroning Naomi Osaka at the women’s tennis top of the world by defeating 51st-ranked Barbora Strycova 6-4 6-4. A sole break of serve in each set was enough for Barty to beat her opponent, who is also contesting the doubles semifinals today. Strycova had more break opportunities than Barty, but the Czech converted none of her five, while the Australian made use of two out of four.

Eighth seed Julia Goerges, ranked 19th, joined her good friend in the title match final by overcoming world No.25 Petra Martic 6-4 6-3, who is enjoying the golden period of her career. The first set featured a total of just one break point and it was a decisive one as Goerges converted it to lead 5-4 and then served out the set in the following game.

The second set started with an exchange of breaks, but early into the set it was evident that Goerges was far superior in the number of winners (23 to her opponent’s 3), and that was reflected in the score, as Goerges surged to 4-2 and Martic never recovered, suffering another break of serve that handed Goerges the victory.

Julia’s and Ashleigh’s head-to-head record reads 1-1. The German won their sole meeting on grass, which was also in Birmingham, last year in the round of 16.

UPDATE: Goerges and Barty chose to retire from their doubles semifinal against Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Demi Schuurs, while Strycova and Hsieh Su-Wei reached the final by beating Jelena Ostapenko and Galina Voskoboeva.

Our photographer Jimmie48 attended both the singles semifinals and the one doubles semifinal that was played on Saturday in Birmingham.

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