Herald tennis writers Michael Burgess and Kris Shannon provide regular updates from the sixth day at the ASB Classic


A beaming Sloane Stephens has just lifted the ASB Classic trophy after her straight sets win over Julia Goerges, left to reflect on an outstanding end to an arduous day.

Asked what ran through her head once her tournament-winning forehand sailed past Goerges to end a marathon day, Stephens joked, "Finally, I'm done.


"It feels amazing, to win a tournament is unbelievable and I'm just really happy.

"I've played some really tough players, and to play this morning and come back to play the final is something I've never done before, so I was really pleased with the way I was able to pull myself together."

All that now remains is the doubles final between Belgian pair Elise Mertens and An-Sophie Mestach and Danka Kovinic of Montenegro and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic.

And, of course, the men's tournament that kicks off on Monday.


Sloane Stephens' day began in uncertainty and ended in silverware.

In the space of five hours, the American has overcome weather disruptions, former world No1 Caroline Wozniacki and, in the tournament showpiece, Julia Goerges to clinch the 2016 ASB Classic.

After her semifinal with Wozniacki stretched over two days and required completion earlier today, Stephens showed no signs of fatigue in dispatching Goerges 7-5 6-2 in little more than an hour.

The world No30 saved a couple of break points early in the match before breaking Goerges on three occasions to earn her second career singles title.

The presentation is now underway on a sunny centre court at Stanley St and we will have some reaction from the players shortly.


Stephens has one hand on the ASB Classic trophy. The American has broken Goerges for the second time in the second set and leads 5-2, given a warm hand as she prepares to serve for the championship. The German needs a miracle.


Could that be the shot that sets up victory in the ASB Classic? Having claimed the first set 7-5, Stephens just broke Goerges with a fine forehand pass shot early in the second, taking an early 2-1 lead and leaving the finish line in sight.


No issues for Stephens in converting that opportunity and the American takes an entertaining opening set 7-5. She certainly showed no signs of fatigue after finishing off her semifinal earlier in the day, with both women playing some lovely tennis as the wind slightly lessened at centre court.


Stephens is set to serve for the first set in the ASB Classic final, after just earning the only break point in the match do date. With games remaining on serve for the first 10 as both women saw off break points, Stephens finally struck on her fourth opportunity to put her nose in front.


Goerges is indeed to first to threaten in the opening set, registering the only break point so far in the match. But Stephens saw it off and won the game in deuce, keeping the final locked at 3-3. These two have met on three previous occasions with Stephens, the world No30, holding a 2-1 advantage over Goerges (50).


The women's final in the ASB Classic has just got underway, with Julia Goerges' first serve deflecting off Sloane Stephens' racket and onto the roof here at Stanley St. The German will fancy her chances against Stephens, given the American has already been in action today while seeing off Caroline Wozniacki in her weather-delayed semifinal. We shall see.


Marina Erakovic is out the doubles, with the Kiwi and her Spanish partner Silvia-Soler Espinosa beaten 6-4 6-4 by Danka Kovinic and Barbora Strycova. Coming back onto court this morning, Erakovic and Silvia-Soler Espinosa were on the verge of defeat in the second doubles semifinal, with Danka Kovinic and Barbora Strycova leading 5-4, 30-15 in the second set. The Europeans wrapped it up within a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, the sun is out on centrecourt - blazing sunshine in fact - as we wait for the start of the women's final at 2:30pm


Caroline Wozniacki is out of the ASB Classic, beaten 6-4 7-6 (3) by Sloane Stephens. Neither player looked comfortable this morning - in windy conditions you might find on the Wellington waterfront - but Stephens handled them better. The American, who hadn't beaten Wozniacki in five previous encounters, was more aggressive than the former world No1, who was often pinned behind the baseline.

Wozniacki seemed to be rattled by an crucial umpire's call late in the second set. At 30-40 on Stephens' serve, with the Dane holding set point, a Stephens serve - which looked clearly wide was called good from the chair.

The world No17 never seemed to recover after that. After holding a 2-1 lead in the tiebreak, she lost six of the next seven points to exit the tournament.


Matches have stayed with serve in the second set of the semi-final between Wozniacki and Stephens, currently locked at 3-3 after Stephens took the first set 6-2. In probably the trickiest conditions of the week - with an extreme blustery wind coming across the court - it is hard work just to control the ball.


The ASB Classic second semi final between Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens has resumed, after it was rained off last night. Three minutes after the resumption of play, Stephens held serve to wrap up the first set 6-2.

It's a great start for the American - and a vital confidence booster - as she had never taken a set off Wozniacki in their five previous meetings.

Unfortunately, their semi final is being played in front of a sparse crowd; punters will tickets from yesterday are unable to enter the stadium today and most of the fans who have tickets for the final have yet to turn up.