Kiki Bertens has paid tribute to her good friend and Wimbledon semi-finalist Julia Goerges, revealing a touching moment after their match on Court 1.
The German 13th seed Goerges won 3-6 7-5 6-1 to end the giant-killing run of her Dutch mate – and, dropping her racquet and standing still in celebration, it seemed she felt bad.
Bertens had taken out No.9 seed Venus Williams and No.7 seed Karolina Pliskova on her way to the quarter-finals, looming as a dark horse for the title before being undone by Goerges.
“I think she said, ‘I’m sorry’,” said Bertens of Goerges’ words during their long embrace at the net after the match.
“I’m like, ‘You don’t have to be sorry. I’m really happy for you. You really deserved this. Keep on going, you can do this’.”
Goerges and Bertens often go out for dinner together when they are playing at the same tournaments.
The German’s win was perhaps some revenge for when Bertens won a clay-court final between the two in April.
“Wow, it is pretty amazing. I just tried to fight for every point,” the 29-year-old said after finally reaching the last four of a major on her 42nd attempt.
“It’s pretty unreal for me at the moment to get to this stage of a Grand Slam. It’s obviously always been a dream for every player, to be in the semis in Wimbledon.”
Waiting to take her on will be a certain Serena Williams – a player who knows what it takes to succeed at Wimbledon having already triumphed at the All England Club seven times.
But the American’s formidable record could not dampen Goerges’ jubilation on Tuesday because as she admitted: “After five years of first-round losses (at Wimbledon), I have grown a lot.”
Goerges’ win kept alive the possibility of Wimbledon staging an all-German women’s final on Saturday as two-time major winner Angelique Kerber takes on Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in the other semi.
“It sounds crazy to maybe have the chance to share a German final in Wimbledon. It sounds pretty cool,” said Goerges.
“It’s still one more match to go for both of us. But it’s great to see there is a chance. It’s great for German tennis.”