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Tennis: Sloane Stephens beats Julia Goerges in Auckland final

American fifth seed Sloane Stephens has defeated unseeded German Julia Goerges 7-5 6-2 to win the Auckland tennis classic.

The victory over the unseeded Goerges gave world No.30 Stephens, 22, her second WTA Tour title, after her success last year in Washington.

Sloane Stephens thanks the crowd with the trophy.
Sloane Stephens thanks the crowd with the trophy. Photo: Getty Images

Both players produced some big-hitting tennis from the start and took their opening service games to love.

But as the first set progressed, the contest tightened up and both had chances to break serve.

The decisive moment came at 5-5, when world No.50 Goerges, seeking her third title, saved two break points, but not a third as Stephens passed her at the net.

It was another cross-court forehand passing shot that gave Stephens an early break in the second set.

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She broke again for a 5-2 lead and made no mistake in serving out for the match in one hour and 16 minutes.

Earlier on Saturday, Stephens won her rain-interrupted semi-final against third seed and world No.17 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 7-6 (7-3).

Play had been suspended on Friday night with Stephens up 5-2 and about to serve for the opening set.

When the players came back out, she wasted little time in closing out the set, the first she had taken from the Dane in six meetings.

With the wind swirling around centre court, the second set was a tighter affair.

After an early break each, Stephens had another opportunity when a net cord went in her favour, but Wozniacki produced a second-serve ace to get back to deuce.

At 5-6, Stephens came up with an ace of her own to save set point, although Wozniacki believed the ball had been wide.

In the tiebreaker, Stephens won five points in a row to get to 6-2 and match point, and she ended the contest with her fifth ace.

AAP