Kiki Bertens has convincingly reached the semi-finals of the WTA Elite Trophy on Thursday. The Westlandse was in her last group duel at the end of the year tournament in Zhuhai a size too big for Dayana Yastremska.
Bertens needed a little less than an hour and a half to deal with the Ukrainian: 6-4 and 6-3. Yastremska is the number 24 in the world and is therefore fourteen places longer in the rankings than Bertens, who was first placed in the Elite Trophy.
27-year-old Bertens had started the indoor tournament in China with a win over Croatian Donna Vekic, who also lost to Yastremska in two sets on Wednesday. In total there are four groups with three players. Only the group winners join the last four and Bertens is sure of that now.
The semi-finals are scheduled for Saturday and the final race will be finished on Sunday. The Elite Trophy, the year-end tournament for the players in the sub-top of the ranking, was won by Ashleigh Barty last year. The Australian is taking part in the WTA Finals next week and cannot defend her title.
Bertens did not qualify for the prestigious and lucrative Finals in Moscow last week. The leader of Dutch tennis will travel to Shenzhen next week as a reserve player in the hope that someone will cancel.
Bertens and Yastremska in the first set
Bertens already managed to beat Yastremska in Beijing earlier this year without losing a set and seemed to immediately start the second encounter with the Ukrainian. The Dutch immediately placed a break and started a love game himself, but after that it was not convincing enough to take further distance.
Incidentally, it was also volatility with Yastremska. She broke Bertens back to 1-2, but immediately lost her own service game again. Also at 4-4 Yastremska was surprised at the own storage, after which Bertens decided the first set in her favor moments later.
Just like in the first set, Bertens started the second company with a break. Coach Elise Tamaëla's pupil - Raemon Sluiter and Bertens have not been working together for some time - was easier to hold on to in her own service games and ran to a greater lead.
Yastremska, who requested a medical time-out after the seventh game, was no longer able to fight back in the game and had to let Bertens win the win due to a double error.