Begu a popular champion as Goerges buckles in Bucharest

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Irina-Camelia Begu defeated Julia Goerges in straight sets on Sunday to become the third home winner of the Bucharest Open in four years.

Begu overcame the German third seed 6-3 7-5 in one hour and 38 minutes on clay in front of a partisan crowd at the Arenele BNR.

She follows fellow Romanian Simona Halep, the 2014 and 2016 champion, in delivering a popular victory for supporters at the WTA International event.

It marked a fourth career triumph for Begu and her first since the Brasil Tennis Cup in August last year.

After saving two break points in her first service game, seventh seed Begu pounced on a tame Goerges backhand slice in the next game, putting away a powerful forehand to break the German and edge in front.

Goerges later saved a set point with a powerful second serve, but then double faulted when she tried to repeat the trick, before dragging a backhand rally ball as Begu took the opener. 

Begu blinked first in the second, seeing Goerges take control of a rally by wrong-footing her before dispatching a forehand winner into unguarded court to break. 

But Begu hit straight back with a stinging forehand winner of her own and then held in great style with a perfectly weighted drop-shot.

Goerges buckled while serving to stay in it, firing a succession of shots wide before committing a fatal double fault on championship point.