Ashleigh Barty advances to semifinals of WTA Elite Trophy

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ZHUHAI, China (AP) Asleigh Barty advanced to the semifinals at the WTA Elite Trophy by beating former top-ranked player Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-3 Thursday.

Barty, an Australian who is the youngest player in the draw at 21, had 11 aces and converted three of her four break-point chances against Kerber. The ninth-seeded Barty also beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the Rose group.

”It was tough group for me because I hadn’t actually beaten either of those girls,” Barty said. ”It’s nice to sort of get that revenge this week, but I felt like I served great all week and put myself in a good position in my service games to then be super-aggressive and nice and clear when returning so I can have a little bit more of a crack and see if I can get some of those early breaks in the sets.”

Fifth-seeded Anastasija Sevastova also reached the semifinals, beating Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4 in the Camillea 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. The 12-player draw is divided into four groups of three, with the winner of each group advancing to the semifinals.

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