Elina Svitolina wins the Rose Group after her straight-sets victory over Elena Vesnina to return to the semifinals at the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.
WTA Staff

ZHUHAI, China - Elina Svitolina won the Rose Group after a commanding straight-sets victory over Elena Vesnina to return to the semifinals at the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.

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Svitolina faced a tough three-set battle in her opener over Bertens, but against Vesnina she got the job done 6-4, 6-2 after an hour and twenty-five minutes.

"I'm looking forward to the semifinal," Svitolina said in her post-match press conference. "Going to be my second semifinal, so hopefully this time I will go further than last year."

The Ukrainian started off facing a slew of break points in her opening service games against Vesnina, who was the last to arrive in Zhuhai after winning the doubles crown at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. But Svitolina batted away her chances and broke Vesnina's serve right at the end of each set to cruise into the semifinals.

Vesnina will likely rue the missed opportunities; she brought up eight break opportunities throughout the match - six in the first set alone - and wasn't able to capitalize on any of them.

"I was trying to be really focused on my serve, because she is quite aggressive from both sides, from forehand and backhand," Svitolina explained.

"I was trying to mix it up a lot and just being in the moment. I think I was playing really well on the break points down. It was a good game for me today, very solid. In important moments I was very solid, and I think that's why the score was my way."

Vesnina showed off a bit of her doubles prowess, coming up time and again and finishing off points at the net, but it was her unforced errors that let her down. She fired off 27 errors to Svitolina's 20, with 15 of those errors coming off her forehand wing alone. Svitolina hit 20 winners to Vesnina's 18.

Despite earning a semifinal berth into her final tournament of the year, Svitolina also admitted that it's sometimes a struggle to stay focused with the post-season looming just around the corner.

"I was trying to just take match by match, set by set and just to give everything," she said.

"[Zhuhai is my] last tournament. I still try to not think about it. I try to think that I still have couple tournaments ahead of me.

"When you think about your last tournament you start to be really down in energy. You start to think about Maldives or something."