Kiki Bertens will face the Croatian Donna Vekic and the Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska in the group stage of the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in China this week, as the draw on Monday revealed.
The field of participants on the Elite Trophy consists of the eleven best players in the annual ranking who did not qualify for the WTA Finals - the most important end-of-year tournament. The twelfth player receives a wild card and this year is the Chinese Zheng Saisai.
Bertens has been sentenced to the Elite Trophy because she did not qualify for the Finals at the WTA tournament in Moscow last week. The 27-year-old Westland stranded in the quarterfinals, while competitor Belinda Bencic won the indoor tournament in the Russian capital. By reaching the final, the Swiss already secured the last ticket for the Finals.
The twelve players who participate in the Elite Trophy are divided into four groups named after flower species. The Camellia group consists of Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske and Karolína Muchová, the Orchid group is formed by Madison Keys, Petra Martic and Zheng Saisai and Aryna Sabalenka, Elise Mertens and Maria Sakkari are in the Rose group.
Bertens met Vekic three times this year
Together with Vekic (WTA-20) and Yastremska (WTA-24), Bertens forms Azaela. The 27-year-old Westlandse hit Vekic three times already this year and took the lead in two of those meetings. Bertens recently played against Yastremska in Beijing and then won in two sets.
The WTA Elite Trophy starts Tuesday and lasts until Sunday. The end-of-year tournament was won by the Australian Ashleigh Barty last year, but the number one in the world will participate in the WTA Finals next week.
Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitová, Bencic, Karolína Plísková, Bianca Andreescu and Elina Svitolina will also be present next week at the prestigious end-of-year tournament in Shenzhen.