Dubai: Last year’s losing finalist Julia Goerges wants to go one better at the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open this year, and helping this cause is a handful of German legends led by former world number one Steffi Graf.
“It’s a big motivation as we [Germany] had a really great time in tennis in the past with Steffi [Graf], Boris [Becker] and Michael Stich. It’s great to have this history, but it always springs the expectations up in the country. It’s a huge motivation that a lot of German players have won things in the past, including Grand Slams,” Goerges told the media after attending the official draw for the tournament here on Saturday.
“For me, Steffi is a legend. We are never going to achieve what she has achieved, but we just try to get as close as we can and go with the time. Tennis has changed a lot and it’s become even tougher. But we just try to stay with it and do as best as we can,” added the 24-year-old German.
Goerges, who reached a personal high of World No15 last year, had a splendid 2012 where she reached two finals —losing to Agnieszka Radwanska in Dubai and Victoria Azarenka in Linz. And this year, she has spent a considerable amount of time preparing during the off-season in Dubai.
“Dubai is one of the biggest tournaments. You always want to come back, and only the best players are competing here. So for me it’s a big challenge playing against the best players and that’s how you can get better,” she said.
Being part of the German Fed Cup team helped as Goerges chose to skip the Doha Open and make an early trip to Dubai, where her first round opponent will be fifth seed Sara Errani. Progress through the next two rounds may set her up against top seed Victoria Azarenka.
“That [match against Azarenka] is a long, long way. I have a first round challenge with a top 10 player and it’s going to be tough enough for me. I am thinking of going one step further. Maybe I can surprise myself, but first of all I should take the challenge of the first round,” Goerges said.