Zhuhai - France's No 1 Caroline Garcia missed out on a semi-final spot
at the WTA Elite Trophy in China despite beating Aryna Sabalenka in
straight sets on Friday.
The 22-year-old won 6-4, 6-4 but because
she lost more than seven games to the Belarusian, Australia's Ashleigh
Barty scraped through the round-robin group following her win over
Garcia on Thursday.
A straight-sets win, or even a loss in three
sets, would have been enough for 20-year-old Sabalenka, but the
tournament's youngest player joins Garcia in being eliminated from the
"I don't know how to describe it," Garcia told reporters.
"After yesterday's match I wanted to win today, but I was not really thinking about qualifying for the semi-final."
Barty's 6-3, 6-4 win over Garcia means the French star ended up bottom of the group of three.
happy with the win," she said. "I was solid; it was much better than
yesterday. It's still a win but it's a disappointment to finish third."
fans at the Hengqin International Tennis Center witnessed a tense
encounter between third seed Sabalenka and eighth seed Garcia, with both
players showing signs of frustration at times.
Garcia needed to
hold her nerve to take the first set. Serving at 5-4 up, she faced three
break points at 0-40 down, but managed to claw back to clinch the set.
continued that momentum into the second set, immediately breaking
Sabalenka's first service game, and it felt like the world number 18
could qualify for the semi-finals.
However, that chance was
snatched away as Sabalenka crucially won a service game to make it 5-4,
although Garcia sealed the match in the following game.
joins Germany's Julia Goerges in Saturday's semi-finals, while
Anastasija Sevastova and Garbine Muguruza's match on Friday will decide
the third player to qualify.
Madison Keys, Daria Kasatkina and
Wang Qiang could still qualify from the last group. Keys will go through
if she beats China's Wang in straight sets later on Friday.
Elite Trophy features 12 players ranked roughly from nine to 20. This
year's total prize money is $2.35 million across the singles and doubles