‘It was tough, really tight’ – Top seed Kiki Bertens made to work hard in Zhuhai

Kiki Bertens has safely advanced at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, but she was made to work very hard for it by Donna Vekic.

The top seed required a tiebreak to take the first set, but found it broke the back of Vekic’s resistance. Bertens then dominated the second, racing into a 5-0 lead before eventually closing out a 7-6, 6-2 win.

“The first set was really tight, so it was just a few points here and there,” Bertens said. “I just was trying to push myself all the time.

“It was tough I would say, mentally but also physically. We were both struggling, I think, a little bit. But from 5-4 down (in the tie-break) I played two really good points.”

China’s Zheng Saisai thrilled the home crowd with victory over third seed Madison Keys, winning 6-4 6-2 in the Orchid Group.

“I am pretty happy about the win today because I didn’t expect to win today,” admitted Zheng, who received a wild card into the 12-woman event. “I was just going to fight for it.

“I think I played pretty solid today. She didn’t put many first serves in, which gave me more opportunities to go into the rallies and start to run her (around). So I think that’s the key for today.”

In the day’s other game in the Rose Group, fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka beat ninth seed Maria Sakkari 6-3 6-4.

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