Nearly four years on from their first career meeting, Elina Svitolina and Johanna Konta lock horns again, this time with a place in the final of the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai at stake.
WTA Staff

ZHUHAI, China - All four semifinalists at the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai boasted perfect round-robin records, but someone's 0 has to go on Saturday. Top seed Johanna Konta takes on the in-form Elina Svitolina, while Petra Kvitova meets home favorite Zhang Shuai.

Saturday, Semifinals

[1] Johanna Konta (GBR #10) vs. [4] Elina Svitolina (UKR #14)
Svitolina leads 1-0
Stat: Svitolina was the only semifinalist to drop a set during the round robin  
Nearly four years ago, Elina Svitolina met Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals of an ITF Circuit event in Israel. Both players were ranked outside the Top 100, but on that day it was the teenage Svitolina that comfortably prevailed, going on to collect the trophy a few days later. She would lift more significant silverware that year, announcing herself as one of the game's brightest prospects by triumphing at the WTA event in Baku.

She has made good on this promise, developing her game under the watchful eye of coach Iain Hughes to the extent that she is knocking ever louder on the door of the Top 10. Last year the Ukrainian reached the semifinals in Zhuhai and after strong showings at recent outings in Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo it would be no surprise to see her go at least one step further this time around.

To do so she will need to get the better of Konta once more. However, this version of the Briton is a very different proposition to the one that stood across the net from her in their ITF days. Imbued with an on-court maturity and steely competitiveness matched by few of her peers, Konta has flown up the rankings over the past 18 months. Her round-robin victory over Samantha Stosur guaranteed she would finish the year in the Top 10, and judging by the way she dispatched Caroline Garcia to reach the semifinals her ambitions do not end there.

[2] Petra Kvitova (CZE #13) vs [WC/12] Zhang Shuai (CHN #28)
tied 1-1
Stat: Zhang owns a 7-6 win-loss record against Top 20 players in 2016

Petra Kvitova can lay claim to being the WTA's most impressive performer over the last few months of the season. Casting aside the inconsistency that blighted the first half of the season, Kvitova, who eased past Roberta Vinci and Barbora Strycova in her two round-robin outings, has now won 26 of her past 32 matches.

The highlight of this run was a second title in Zhuhai, and should she continue this rich vein of form on Chinese soil it will take a super-human effort to stop the Czech. Her next opponent, Zhang Shuai, will have a little extra help though, in the shape of an unashamedly partisan home crowd.

Desperate for a successor to Li Na, Chinese tennis has seen Zhang emerge as its unlikely standard bearer in 2016. Little more than 12 months ago, Zhang was contemplating retirement on the back of a dispiriting spell on tour. Sam Stosur talked her out of it and she has been on an upward trajectory ever since. In January she ended her long-running Grand Slam hoodoo by making it all the way through qualifying and into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, building on this platform with credible showings in Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing to leave herself on the verge of the Top 20.