Barty books place in Elite Trophy final

Garbine Muguruza reaches semifinals at WTA Elite Trophy

Keys loses to Wang, still advances to WTA Elite Trophy semifinals

This year she's won her first grand slam title, in doubles at the US Open, where she also picked up the sportsmanship award.

Ashleigh Barty made a blistering start and rode out a tighter second set to win the WTA Elite Trophy title with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 victory over rising Chinese talent Wang Qiang in Zhuhai, southern Guangdong Province, yesterday. Wang trails Barty 0-1 in the pair's head-to-head record after falling in straight sets against the Australian in Strasbourg earlier this year. Additionally, she reaches the career-high ranking and an all-important top-16 seeding at 2019 Australian Open. "I'm a huge fan of Ash as both a player and a person and am absolutely thrilled with this result".

Serena opted to end her 2018 season two weeks ago, allowing players like Barty to overtake her.

But the Australian broke once more and served out the set.

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"I know that whenever I have played (Wang) in the past, it's always been an extremely tough match", said Barty.

"It's been a great finish in China this week", Barty said after Sunday's win.

Barty, however, took her chance to break in the seventh game and saw out the victory in 83 minutes.

Barty raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening set before 22nd-ranked Wang forced the match back on serve.

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He was challenging for the number one spot with Novak Djokovic , who will now finish regardless as the number one player'. Nadal was spotted leaving hospital with his right ankle in a bandage following surgery on Monday.

"It has been a phenomenal year, it really has".

The win makes it her third overall singles title and second for 2018 following her outstanding run at Nottingham in June.

The writing looked to be on the wall when Barty fell a set and a break down, but she demonstrated admirable resilience to force what proved a one-sided decider.

She was able to bounce back though with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Caroline Garcia before defeating defending champion Julia Goerges 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.

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The American was due to play Garbine Muguruza on Saturday evening at the Hengqin International Tennis Centre in Zhuhai for a place in Sunday's final.

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