Julia Goerges reaches semifinals at WTA Elite Trophy


ZHUHAI, China (AP) — Julia Goerges advanced to the semifinals at the WTA Elite Trophy by beating top-seeded Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 7-6 (4) Friday.

The seventh-seeded German joins CoCo Vandeweghe, Anastasija Sevastova and Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals.

Goerges, who only needed to win one set to advance from the Azalea group, broke Mladenovic’s serve four times.

“I really wanted to win that match,” Goerges said. “It didn’t matter if I had to win one set, but I don’t want to go out with losing the match and still being in the semifinals. I think that’s a bit weird.”

Goerges has won her last seven matches, including the title in Moscow last month. Mladenovic, meanwhile, has lost 12 matches in a row.

Goerges will face Sevastova in the semifinals, while Vandeweghe will take on Barty.

Also, Peng Shuai was leading Elena Vesnina 6-2, 1-0 in the Bougainvillea group when the sixth-seeded Russian retired because of a back injury. Both players had already been eliminated from contention prior to the match.

U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens also retired from her match. She was trailing 5-0 against Barbora Strycova in the Camillea group when she stopped.

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 of three, with the winner of each group advancing to the semifinals.