Zhuhai: Barty v Wang in WTA Elite Trophy final

Published by AP / AAP

Ash Barty defeats defending champ Julia Goerges to reach the final in Zhuhai where she will meet Wang Qiang, who replaced injured Madison Keys before crushing Garbine Muguruza.

Australian Ash Barty rallied from a set down to beat defending champion Julia Goerges 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the semifinals of the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai.

The Australian will face Wang Qiang in Sunday’s final after the Chinese star beat Garbine Muguruza 6-2 6-0.

Barty served one more ace than her opponent 8-7 on Saturday, but also had six double faults, compared to just two for Goerges.

The German looked on course to extend her title defence after securing a late break to take the opening set.

Barty was also broken early in the second but the momentum then shifted and the Australian eventually cruised to a 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory.

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Once she broke the world No.14 twice to send the contest into a decider – and then made the ideal start to the third set when breaking Goerges to love – there was no way back for the favourite.

Barty won her only previous match against Wang in Strasbourg earlier this year.

Wang served seven aces and converted five of seven break points against the overmatched Muguruza to become the first Chinese player to reach the final of the tournament.

Wang was a late replacement for original group-stage winner Madison Keys after the American withdrew from the semifinal with a left knee injury.

“I think she’s a very smart player,” Wang said of Barty. “We played once and I lost at that time. She’s a very smart player and she knows how to change her strategies and she has a lot of variety in her serve.

“Tomorrow what I’ll do is do my best and not think too much on the result. It’s already a miracle for me to stand on the court. So what I’ll do is I’ll just relax tomorrow.”

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 is divided into four groups, with the winner of each group advancing to the semifinals.

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