A day after beating Caroline Wozniacki for the second straight time, Germany’s Julia Goerges continued her shining play, dismantling Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-4 6-2. The streaking Goerges fired 6 aces en route to winning a stellar 87% of her first serve points and holding serve the entire match, saving all 6 break opportunities against her. It might be time to ask if this recent play from Goerges is an indication that she is heading toward a lengthy stay as a top tier player or simply a future footnote about a player who had a nice hot flash for a few weeks of the 2011 season. It is hard for me to say at this point. In her wins against Caroline Wozniacki, Julia has looked absolutely brilliant. There is definitely top talent in her game. On the other hand, she has been a pro for several years and only once, at the 2011 Australian Open, reached the third round of the singles draw at a Grand Slam. So for me, the jury is still out. Nevertheless, it has been fun watching her sparkling play these last few weeks.
Another player with top tier talent but not the consistent results to propel her into the highest rankings is Bethanie Mattek-Sands who a day after ousting third seed Francesca Schiavone gave sixth seed Li Na all she could handle. In the end, Li used more variety than is often evident in her straight ahead power game to edge Mattek-Sands 6-4 3-6 6-4. I’m not sure if her conditioning might have let her down, but Bethanie’s service game was significantly weaker in the third set compared to the first two. Although Li wasn’t exactly stellar herself, dropping serve twice in the final frame, she was able to attack Bethanie in the third set, converting three break points. Li’s win sets up one of two intriguing semifinals. Although many big names like Wozniacki and Sharapova are gone, Li versus Petra Kvitova and Goerges versus Victoria Azarenka are two semis that pit highly talented players who all have made major statements in 2011.