Kiki Bertens has fought for a final spot at the WTA Elite Trophy on Saturday. The Dutch number ten in the world had to go deep in the semi-finals of the tournament in Zhuhai against Zheng Saisai.
It was 2-6, 6-3 and 6-4 against the Chinese number forty of the WTA ranking. Bertens looked a bit tired and started badly, but fought back in the game that lasted more than two hours.
De Wateringse had started the indoor tournament in the group stage with victories over the Croatian Donna Vekic and the Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska, with which she reached the final four.
In the final of the WTA Elite Trophy, Bertens will face the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka or Karolína Muchová from the Czech Republic on Sunday, who will face each other in the other semi-final later on Saturday.
The WTA Elite Trophy was won by Ashleigh Barty last year, who will participate in the WTA Finals next week and therefore cannot defend her title in Zhuhai.
Bertens is a reserve for WTA Finals
Bertens did not qualify next week's lucrative WTA Finals for the best eight players of the year. She will travel to Shenzhen as a reserve player next week.
At least, Bertens showed against Zheng that she still has resilience towards the end of a long tennis year, because her start was very rough. After the winning opening game, she lost no less than five games in a row and that led to a set loss.
In the second set it also went awry, but Bertens - who had to wait twice for an injury treatment at Zheng during the game - was often the better at the important moments. She took the set 6-3.
A thrilling fight followed in the third set, in which Bertens still had a hard time despite a 4-1 lead. At a 4-4 position, she appeared to have the longest breath.