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Julia Goerges claimed having an aggressive attitude was key to beating Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 6-2 at the Connecticut Open as the No.5 seed reached her fifth WTA semi-final of 2018.
After falling behind to an early break in New Haven, the Wimbledon semi-finalist rattled off six of the next eight games to take the set, then recovered from losing her opening serve in the second to take the final six games of the match.
In a contast that lasted just one hour 17 minutes, Goerges had more unforced errors, but her 28 winners was more than four times the number mustered by her opponent.
She was only able to get 54 per cent of her first serves in play, but dismantled Makarova's serve earning 11 break points in the process.
The world no.9 now faces Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-2.
"I think my attitude was very important today," said Goerges. "I stayed focused on every point I was playing and really went for my shots. It's part of my game to be aggressive and I'm really glad it worked out so well."
The German had never beaten former doubles No.1 Makarova in their two previous meetings and admitted that a lack of matches against left-handers in recent weeks was an added concern to overcome.
"It took me a little while to adjust to a lefty again, because I haven't played a lefty now for two or three weeks," she added. "It's very rare on tour. For me, it took a bit of time to really get used to her pace, to her shots.
"It took me a little while to adjust to a lefty again, because I haven't played a lefty now for two or three weeks," Goerges said in press. "It's very rare on tour. For me, it took a bit of time to really get used to her pace, to her shots.
"I think I managed it really well, that I stayed in every single point, every single game. Overall I'm very satisfied the way I performed and played today.
In the other side of the draw, No.2 seed Carolina Garcia suffered a shock loss to qualifier Monica Puig 7-5 1-6 6-2.
It is the first time the world ranked 66 has reached a WTA semi-final in 2018 and the fifth time the Puerto Rican has beaten a Top 10 ranking player in her career.
The 24-year-old, who won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, will face either the highest ranking player left in the draw - No.3 seed Petra Kvitova or Carla Suarez Navarro in the last four.
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Image: Getty Images/Maddie Meyer
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