WTA Zhuhai: Kiki Bertens reaches semis. Madison Keys, Karolina Muchova win


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WTA Zhuhai: Kiki Bertens reaches semis. Madison Keys, Karolina Muchova win

After missing the WTA Finals spot, Kiki Bertens looks strong in Zhuhai, with the top seed beating the 10th seed Dayana Yastremska 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 26 minutes, securing the place in the semi-final. Bertens already defeated Yastremska in Beijing a few weeks ago and was the better player on the court today as well, getting broken twice and stealing almost half of the return points to clinch five breaks and move over the top in straight sets.

The young Ukrainian pulled break back twice in the opener, firing a forehand winner to level the score at 4-4 before sending a forehand long in the next game to get broken for the third time. Kiki closed the set with a hold at 15 in the tenth game for a 6-4, gathering the momentum and stealing Dayana's serve in games one and nine in set number two to advance into the last four.

The 3rd seed Madison Keys toppled the 5th seed Petra Martic 6-3, 6-4 in 70 minutes, playing well on both serve and return to cross the finish line without spending too much time on the court. Serving at 71%, the American played against two break chances and suffered only one break, delivering three from six opportunities on the other side for the first victory over the Croat.

Madison claimed the first set with a break in game six, opening a 3-1 advantage in set number two before Petra rattled off three straight games to overcome the deficit and move 4-3 ahead. Still, Keys was more focused in the closing stages, scoring a break at 4-4 and fending off a break point in the tenth game before converting the fourth match point that carried her over the top.

Karolina Muchova was the last player to secure Zhuhai berth and it is so far so good for her, defeating Alison Riske 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in just under two hours. The American had the upper hand in the first set, rattling off five straight games before Muchova prepared a proper response in set number two, racing into a 5-0 advantage and converting the fifth set point in the eighth game to set up a decider where Riske forged a 3-1 lead.

It wasn't to be for her, though, with Muchova breaking back at love in game six and celebrating the victory with a late break at 6-5.