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Görges the first German to win Stuttgart WTA in 17 years

Julia Görges stunned world number one Caroline Wozniacki to win the Stuttgart WTA clay court title on Sunday, becoming the first German champion there in 17 years.

Görges the first German to win Stuttgart WTA in 17 years
Photo: DPA

The 22-year-old Görges collected only her second career title to add to her 2010 Bad Gastein trophy, 17 years after Anke Huber won the second of her Stuttgart crowns in 1994.

“I don’t quite know how I did it,” admitted the German, who won with 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

“It is always as if you have to climb a high mountain against Caroline. Now I have done it, I can’t quite believe it.”

Görges, who sent down 38 winners to Wozniacki’s nine, will now break into the top world’s 30 for the first time in her career.

It was Wozniacki’s second final defeat in 2011 after losing to Russia’s Vera Zvonareva in Doha in February.

The 20-year-old Dane was stunned in her bid for her fourth title of the year, after wins at Dubai, Indian Wells and Charleston, as Görges grew in confidence as the final wore on.

“Julia played really well,” admitted the 20-year-old top seed.

“She was very aggressive and everything was going in. I tried everything but it wasn’t enough. I’ll go back to the practice court and try to be better next time.”

Görges was only the third German to ever reach the Stuttgart final, but she showed no sign of nerves by taking the first set tie-breaker, after building up a 6-2 lead, and then broke Wozniacki in only the second game of the second set.

The Dane failed to cope with Görges’ strong serve and powerful baseline shots, while the German kept her cool at the crucial stages.

She then served out for a 3-0 lead and never allowed Wozniacki to settle as she kept the world number one under constant pressure, backed by a vocal 4,800-strong crowd who cheered the new champion to her title.

Görges played way above her new ranking of 27th, which she will receive on Monday, and she drives off with the winner’s prize of a brand-new silver Porsche sports car worth $111,000, which presents her with a luxury problem.

“I haven’t driven a car for three months, maybe I should try it again with a normal car first,” she suggested.

Görges’ success marked a successful week for Germany’s top women players, who enjoyed their best outing in Stuttgart for 27 years.

Four Germans reached the quarter-finals and with Andrea Petkovic set now to be ranked 15th, the host nation will have two top 30 players for the first time since 1999.

“This is great,” said Germany’s Fed Cup captain Barbara Rittner, whose team wiped out last year’s finalists the USA 5-0 last weekend.

“It all fitted together just like a jigsaw puzzle for us in Stuttgart.”

AFP/hc

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UKRAINE

German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

READ ALSO: OPINION: Germany has scuppered Nord Stream 2 but there are questions left to answer

Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

READ ALSO: Germany set to shut airspace to Russian planes on Sunday

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