Defending Champion Goerges back to Zhuhai Final Four
Created: 2018-11-02 18:37:11
On November 1st, day three of the 2018 Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, the defending champion Julia Goerges advanced to the semifinals with a straight-set win over Elise Mertens, while the home favorite Zhang Shuai was knocked out after two successive defeats.

Lyudmyla Kichenok/Nadiia Kichenok 6-4/1-6/10-7 Makoto Ninomiya/Miyu Kato

Lyudmyla Kichenok/Nadiia Kichenok took on Makoto Ninomiya/Miyu Kato first in day session. The two pairs got on board soon today, each keeping the first serve with ease. In the third game, the Japanese pair had a dip in form, set up four break points for the Kichenok sisters, which were all wasted though, and thus held serve the hard way. But the Ukrainian sisters didn’t waste the opportunity again in the fifth game, breaking and keeping the lead to win the set 6-4.
In the second set, the Japanese pair brought up again three break chances for the Ukrainian sisters in their first serve, but managed to erase them all. The Ukrainian sisters were somewhat demoralized after wasting so many break points, getting broken twice and losing the set 1-6. The 10-point match tie-break was a pitched battle. The Japanese pair hit a double-fault when taking a 6-5 lead, and the Ukrainian sisters got 4 out of the following 5 points, took the final set 10-7, and thus qualified out of the Bougainvillea Group first with two wins for the doubles final this year.

Ashleigh Barty 6-3/6-4 Caroline Garcia

After losing her opening match to Aryna Sabalenka, Ashleigh Barty made a last-ditch effort today against the French No.1 Caroline Garcia. The Aussie had a slow start, but managed to hold serve with solid baseline drives and also to break Garcia in the fourth game, leading 3-1. Then each held serve and Barty clinched the first set 6-3.
In the second set, Garcia kept her first serve with a love game, but couldn’t keep the good run. Barty took advantage of Garcia’s turnovers, breaking and holding to take the set 6-4. With the two-set win, Barty still keeps her hopes alive of progressing from the Orchid Group, while Garcia, with an opening loss, must outlast Sabalenka to vault into the semifinals.

Julia Goerges(5) 6-2/7-6(5) Elise Mertens(4)

It was the first clash between the defending champion Julia Goerges and the fourth seed Elise Mertens today in Zhuhai, which would also decide who could qualify out of the Rose Group. Both players started a little bit slow, holding the first serve after saving break points. The German broke in the sixth game, leading 4-2, while Mertens still couldn’t pick up her momentum, got broken again and lost the first set 2-6.
The Belgian started fighting back in the second set and broke at the beginning. Then both players garnered several break points in each other’s service games, but converted none. In the ninth game, Mertens lost her serving touch, and Goerges got herself a break point with an overhead at the net, and converted it immediately with a down-the-line forehand winner, leveling 5-5. After both holding serve, the set went to a nail-biting tie-break. Finally Goerges grabbed a match point with a nice net winner, clinched the set 7-6(5), and sealed her place in the semifinals.

Anastasija Sevastova 6-0/7-6(10) Zhang Shuai

Tonight Hengqin Tennis Center saw the fourth clash in total and the first on hard court between Zhang Shuai and Anastasija Sevastova. After losing to Garbine Muguruza yesterday, the Chinese girl had to win this match to remain in contention in the group, but she played quite impatiently from the beginning, especially on big points, made many unforced mistakes and got broken in quick succession. Sevastova wrapped up the first set 6-0.
Zhang Shuai played more aggressively in the second set, and won herself the first game in the match. Sevastova also held serve to equalize 1-1. Then both broke thrice, sending the set to a tie-break. After Zhang Shuai took a fast lead 5-1, her momentum was suddenly stemmed. Finally Sevastova took it 12-10, and thus defeated the home favorite. The semifinal spot of the Camellia Group will be decided tomorrow by the match between Muguruza and Sevastova.