Coco Vandeweghe sets up final with Julia Goerges at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai
Number 2 seed and two-time Grand Slam semifinaliist Coco Vandeweghe saw off Ashleigh Barty 6-3 6-3 to reach the final at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, where she will face German Julia Goerges, who beat Anastasija Sevastova in the first semifinal by the same scoreline.
Vandeweghe fired five aces and won 28 of her 32 first serve points and hit 32 winners to just 9 unforced errors. Barty produced 19 winners and 8 unforced errors, but did not earn a single break point.
Both players served very well in the first four games, losing a total of just four points on serve. Barty saved four break points in the fifth game, but Vandeweghe converted her fifth opportunity to take a 3-2 lead with a backhand winner. The US player held her next two service games at love to open up a 5-3 lead.
In the ninth game Vandeweghe went up 0-30 with a backhand crosscourt winner and sealed the first set, as Barty made a forehand unforced error. Vandeweghe dropped just one point on serve and won 16 consecutive points on serve.
In the first game of the second set Vandeweghe came back from 15-30 to hold serve with an ace and a serve and volley. As Barty was serving at 2-3, Vandeweghe brought up a double break point with a huge return. The Australian Open and US Open semifinalist converted her second chance to open up a 4-2 lead, when Barty made a forehand error.
Vandeweghe held serve at love for 5-2 and earned three match points at 0-40 in the next game. Barty fended them off with ace on the third match point. Barty held serve forcing Vandeweghe to serve out for the match. Vandeweghe earned three more match points with three big serves and converted her first chance, when her serve was returned long. Vandeweghe has become the second US player to reach the final at the Elite Trophy in Zhuhai after Venus Williams in 2015.
Vandeweghe and Goerges are tied 2-2 in their previous four head-to-head matches, but the German retired in their most recent clash in the Fed Cup.
Vandeweghe reached two Grand Slam semifinals this year, losing to Venus Williams at the Australian Open and to Madison Keys in the US Open. The US player will play her second final of the season after losing to Madison Keys in Stanford last summer. She will break into the top 10 for the first time next week. Barty ends the season inside the top 20 as the best ranked Australian player.