WTA Elite Trophy: Round Robin stage concludes with Julia Goerges headlining the winners on Day 4

The final day of the Round Robin stage at the 2017 WTA Elite Trophy saw Julia Goerges seal the final spot in the semifinals with an impressive win while the other two matches featured retirements from star players.

WTA Elite Trophy: Round Robin stage concludes with Julia Goerges headlining the winners on Day 4
Julia Goerges is now one of the favourites for the title | Photo: Yifan Ding/Getty Images AsiaPac

Retirements headlined the last day of Round Robin matches at the WTA Elite Trophy as there were two dead rubbers which saw one of the players throwing in the white towel mid-match due to their injuries. Julia Goerges was the only player who prevailed in a completed match today, sealing her spot in the last four as she needed to only clinch a set to qualify for the semifinals.

Mladenovic puts up tough fight

In the battle between two powerful players on the fast-paced courts in Zhuhai, Goerges was the in-form player and it reflected on the scoreboard as she quickly strolled to clinch the first set 6-2 against Kristina Mladenovic after just 33 minutes of play.

Winning the opening set already sealed her qualification for the semifinals, which certainly played a major role in her slight misfocus during the second set. Goerges was broken twice as Mladenovic stepped up her level of play being determined to send the match into a decider, but failed to convert a 5-3 lead as the Frenchwoman ultimately fell in straight sets after an hour and 38 minutes, extending her losing streak to 12 straight matches to end off the year with.

Kristina Mladenovic's losing streak continues | Photo: Yifan Ding/Getty Images AsiaPac
Kristina Mladenovic's losing streak continues | Photo: Yifan Ding/Getty Images AsiaPac

Vesnina struggles with a hip issue

Already visibly being impacted by a hip injury in her match yesterday, Elena Vesnina came out onto the court today with the hope of being able to put up a tough fight and not disappoint the fans. She faced a tough challenge in local favorite Peng Shuai, but the Russian failed to convert her opportunities as she started to struggle really badly against the solid Chinese.

Losing the first set 2-6, the Russian eventually retired after the opening game of the second set, with the pain being too unbearable which disallowed her from continuing. Vesnina was later revealed to have dislocated her SI joint in her match against Vandeweghe yesterday. 

Elena Vesnina receives a medical time-out for her hip injury | Photo: Wang He/Getty Images AsiaPac
Elena Vesnina receives a medical time-out for her hip injury | Photo: Wang He/Getty Images AsiaPac

Stephens’ injury issues continue

In the dead rubber encounter between Sloane Stephens and Barbora Strycova in the last singles match of the day, both players were fighting for vital ranking points and an attractive amount of close to $100,000 with a win. However, the American’s struggles after claiming the US Open trophy continued as she battled a knee injury throughout the Asian Swing, ending her season with a retirement as Strycova won 21 of the first 26 points in the match, eventually taking the bittersweet win with a 5-0 scoreline.

The semifinal line-up features second seed Coco Vandeweghe going up against youngster Ashleigh Barty in a battle of the hard-hitters, while Anastasija Sevastova and Julia Goerges will contest a rematch of the Mallorca Open final. Furthermore, Vandeweghe has also sealed her debut in the top 10 of the rankings next Monday as she will end 2017 in the elite batch, coming off two Major semifinal appearances.

Nothing has been working for Stephens in the past few weeks | Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images AsiaPac
Nothing has been working for Stephens in the past few weeks | Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images AsiaPac