Kiki Bertens failed to add the WTA Elite Trophy to her honors list on Saturday (local time). The Dutch lost in the final of the year-end tournament in Zhuhai to the fourth placed Aryna Sabalenka.

The final of the indoor tournament in China lasted an hour and sixteen minutes: 6-4 and 6-2. 27-year-old Bertens did not manage to force the entire party to a breakpoint and lost three times her service game against the Belarusian Sabalenka, the number fourteen in the world.

For Bertens it is already the third time this year that she loses the final of a WTA tournament. Earlier in 2019 she grabbed just next to titles in Rosmalen and Palermo. The current number ten in the world did win the tournaments in St Petersburg and Madrid this year, which means she is on nine WTA titles in her career.

Bertens recently did not qualify for the prestigious WTA Finals in Moscow and was therefore sentenced to the Elite Trophy, the end-of-year tournament for the sub-top of the ranking. She was too strong for Donna Vekic and Dayana Yastremska in her group duels and settled in the semi-finals after a three-frater with Zheng Saisai.

The Elite Trophy was normally the last Bertens tournament this year. The Westlandse travels to Shenzhen for the WTA Finals, because she is a reserve player there. The year-end tournament for the best eight tennis players of 2019 will start on Sunday. Bertens reached the semi-finals there last year.