As predicted, the Goerges/Masha match was a dogfight, with Masha coming through in three. But it was a real coming out party for Julia Goerges who, prior to today, was probably more known for being the girl Masha hand-picked to wear her Nike line. Watching the match you understood why.
And she can play herself some badass tennis, too. Julia Goolia was hitting winners from everywhere around the court and through a set and a half (and then some) she was most impressive. Not only was the skill there but the fight as well. Finding herself down 0-4 in the third, she would keep pressing, fistpumping, and gritting her teeth, eventually breaking back and getting things to 3-4 and forcing Pova to hold her serve, which, let's face it, is kind of 80% of the battle with Masha.
Against most other players, Julia's grit alone might have won her the match. But no one outcompetes Maria Sharapova. Once again, she wasn't at her best but she dug deep on the big points and even ended this sucker with an ace.
The two shared themselves a nice handshake at the net (seriously, the nicest handshake I've ever seen from Masha) with Masha saying "Good match. Good fight." Quite a compliment from the fighter herself. They then retreated to the lockerroom to strip down and roll around in hot oil for a while.
Platonically, of course.
(Pic: Forty Deuce, Getty)