WTA Elite Trophy: Unassailable Daria Kasatkina powers herself into SF in Zhuhai!

Jelena Ostapenko and Liudmila Samsonova emerged victorious in their respective opening clashes

by Abbey Johnson
WTA Elite Trophy: Unassailable Daria Kasatkina powers herself into SF in Zhuhai!
© Fred Lee/ Getty Images

Daria Kasatkina’s the first semi-finalist of the 2023 WTA Elite Trophy. The sixth seed won her second round-robin match on Thursday, against Magda Linette to make it to the second-last stage of the event on the back of being undefeated with two wins in that stage of the tournament.

Kasatkina needed a little over two hours to score a 6-3, 6-4 win. Kasatkina won 51% of her first-serve points and won 60% points on return on her opponent’s second serve. She was shaky when it came to winning second-serve points and won only 43% of her second-serve points.

However, she was able to get past Linette’s second serve, finishing by winning 21 of 28 points on return on the latter’s second serve. The 26-year-old wrapped up the match with 89 points of which 24 came in the form of winners.

WTA Elite Trophy: Jelena Ostapenko, Liudmila Samsonova's survival stories

Meanwhile, Donna Vekic joined Linette in exiting the second-to-last tournament of the season, in the round-robin stage. Jelena Ostapenko defeated the Croatian in their match-up, in the Orchid Group, to thwart the latter’s ambitions.

The Latvian notched a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win after an hour and 56 minutes of play. Vekic’s game unravelled as she found herself being unable to score well on her second serve. Ostapenko finished the match by winning 73% points on second-serve return.

In the third set, Ostapenko won all eight points played on Vekic’s second serve. For the match, the former French Open winner finished with 98 points, of which 37 came through winners and 30 came through her opponent’s unforced errors.

Lastly, Liudmila Samsonova dashed Lin Zhu’s hopes of making it to the semis of the WTA Elite Trophy. Samsonova, who played her first match in the Rose Group against Zhu, fought from down a set to pull through 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.

The match ended just a minute before two hours. The last round-robin match of the group will feature Samsonova against Veronika Kudermetova.

Daria Kasatkina Jelena Ostapenko Liudmila Samsonova