WTA Elite Trophy

AP Images

Vandeweghe, Goerges advance to WTA Elite Trophy final

Leave a comment

ZHUHAI, China — Julia Goerges will take on CoCo Vandeweghe in the WTA Elite Trophy final on Sunday.

Vandeweghe advanced with a convincing 6-3, 6-3 win over rising Australian star Ashleigh Barty on Saturday, while Goerges held serve throughout in her 6-3, 6-3 victory over seventh-seeded Anastasija Sevastova.

“I think my results through my whole career have always been early exits or I go deep in tournaments,” Vandeweghe said. “I play better the more I play on the court. I like to compete. I feel more comfortable, more confident with my strokes.”

Vandeweghe is looking for her first WTA title of the year. After this tournament she will travel to Minsk to be part of the United States team at the Fed Cup final against Belarus.

Goerges has won eight straight matches, including the Kremlin Cup title in Moscow last month.

“I would say it probably helps me a bit to have played already a lot of finals this year and to just come from a tournament win,” the German said.

The tournament in Zhuhai features the leading players on the women’s tour who didn’t qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore last week. The 12-player draw was divided into four groups of three, with the winner of each group advancing to the semifinals.

Vandeweghe Opens WTA Elite Trophy with win

AP Photo
Leave a comment

ZHUHAI, China — Second-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe has opened the WTA Elite Trophy tournament with a comeback 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Chinese wild-card entry Peng Shuai.

Vandeweghe overcame a slow start and two service breaks in the first set Tuesday, recovering to finish with six aces and convert five of her eight breakpoint chances against Peng in the Bougainvillea group.

“The match was very difficult for me. I wasn’t really making good contact with the ball, wasn’t really making enough balls in court, and I was just very sloppy at the start,” Vandeweghe said. “That allowed her to start well into the match, and I just had to keep fighting my way back.”

Seventh-seeded Julia Goerges opened with a 6-1, 7-6 (5) win over No. 10 Magdalena Rybarakova in the Azalea group.

The tournament in Zhuhai features the leading players on the women’s tour who didn’t qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore last week, in addition to the wildcard awarded to Peng. The 12-player draw is divided into four groups.

Angelique Kerber, who finished 2016 at No. 1 in the rankings, was playing fourth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuenkova in a night match in the Rose group.

Stephens, Kerber headline WTA Elite Trophy field

AP Photo
Leave a comment

ZHUHAI, China — A year after finishing the season as the No. 1-ranked player in the world, Angelique Kerber will be playing at the WTA Elite Trophy with an eye on 2018.

Kerber won the Australian Open and U.S. Open last year, but has struggled in 2017 and has dropped to No. 19.

“I’m not trying to look back at the year. I’m trying to look ahead and trying to end the year as well as I can by putting everything on the court, winning as many as matches as I can and going to my holidays with a good feeling,” Kerber said. “It’s a tough tournament but it’s an opportunity to get better, have good competition and maybe also going with a good feeling to next season.”

The WTA Elite Trophy is a round-robin tournament for the top players who failed to qualify for the WTA Finals. The tournament splits 12 players in four groups of three, with the group winners reaching the semifinals.

Kerber is in a group with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Ashleigh Barty.

Other players at the tournament include U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, who is in a group with Anastasija Sevastova and Barbora Strycova.

“I just want to compete well because obviously every match is really important,” Stephens said. “I just hope to play well and get in a few matches out there.”

In the other groups, it’s: CoCo Vandeweghe, Peng Shuai and Elena Vesnina; and Julia Goerges, Kristina Mladenovic and Magdalena Rybarikova.

The 12 players at the tournament won a combined 11 WTA singles titles in 2017.