Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki has been dumped out of the Auckland Classic tennis tournament, collapsing to a 1-6 6-3 6-4 defeat to Julia Goerges.
With both Williams sisters out of the event, Wozniacki had been considered the hot favourite to take out the Auckland title but inexplicably faded halfway through the second set.
Triumphing 6-1 in the first set and ahead 3-0 in the second, the third seed and former world No.1 seemed certain to secure a semi-final berth until Goerges turned it all around.
The German world No.53 won six straight games to snatch the second set 6-3, before surviving a few third-set jitters to win the decider 6-4 and claim the match.
“I just tried to hang in there somehow,” Goerges said.
“I just said I had to fit and stay in it, and find a way to turn this match around.”
Wozniacki roared out of the blocks, quickly notching up a five-game first-set lead before subsequently holding serve to win 6-1.
She seemed destined to repeat the trick in the second, breaking Goerges again and looking in control until the momentum bizarrely swung Goerges’ way.
Last year’s Classic runner-up suddenly burst forward with superb play on the baseline, repeatedly forcing errors out of Wozniacki and taking the second-set 6-3.
The third then followed a similar pattern, with the big-hitting Goerges smashing the error-strewn Wozniacki from pillar to post and racing out to a 5-1 lead.
Goerges, who notched up 10 aces by the end of the third set, was then broken but held her nerve in her following service game to secure victory.
She’ll face Croatian teen Ana Konjuh on Friday in the semi-finals.
“I love this court so I wanted to spend a little bit more time here,” Goerges said.