WTA Elite Trophy: Beatriz Haddad Maia leads victors’ list in Zhuhai!

Barbora Krejcikova and home hope, Lin Zhu were just as dominant in their respective clashes

by Abbey Johnson
WTA Elite Trophy: Beatriz Haddad Maia leads victors’ list in Zhuhai!
© Fred Lee/ Getty Images

The WTA Elite Trophy returned to the WTA tour and to Zhuhai for the first time in 2019. The first set of round-robin matches were played on Tuesday. Beatriz Haddad Maia, Barbora Krejcikova and Lin Zhu were the three winners on the first day of play.

Among these three, Haddad Maia was the first to win her match. Playing against the second-seeded Madison Keys in the Camellia Group, the Brazilian clinched a 6-4, 6-4 win after almost an hour and 40 minutes of play. The eighth seed won 64% of her second-serve points and 56% points on return on the American’s second serve to keep herself ahead in the proceedings.

She also saved six of the seven break points she faced while making good of three break points that emerged on Keys’ serve. At this point, Haddad Maia leads the group standings.

WTA Elite Trophy: Barbora Krejcikova, Lin Zhu start strong, too

Meanwhile, from the Azalea Group, the top-seeded Krejcikova pipped the 11th seed Magda Linette, 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 48 minutes.

Krejcikova lost just nine points behind her first serve. She, however, struggled to get going on her second serve, conceding 66% points on second-serve return to Linette. Nonetheless, Krejcikova lost her serve only once in the match, saving nine of the 10 break points she faced.

She did convert five break points on her Polish rival’s serve. Lastly, Zhu, who made the cut to the WTA Elite Trophy as a wildcard recipient and as the 12th seed, held her nerve to best the fifth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova.

Zhu won 7-6(5), 6-1 in what was the last match of the day after two hours and 13 minutes. Zhu began the match strongly but allowed Kudermetova to make a comeback in the first set. The lapse in Zhu’s concentration proved to be temporary as she first pocketed the first set in the tie-break and then, demolished Kudermetova’s game in the second set.

The only game Kudermetova won in the second set was on a break of serve. Zhu rectified that break by winning the next two games in a row, to secure herself a place at the top of the Rose Group.

Beatriz Haddad Maia Barbora Krejcikova Lin Zhu