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WTA Finals: Ashleigh Barty beaten by replacement Kiki Bertens

WTA Finals: Ashleigh Barty beaten by replacement Kiki Bertens

Kiki Bertens had never beaten Ashleigh Barty on the WTA TourKiki Bertens beat world number one Ashleigh Barty at the WTA Finals just hours after being added to the tournament as a replacement.The Dutch world number 10 took the place of Naomi Osaka, who withdrew on Tuesday with a shoulder injury.Bertens was trailing by a set and a break but Australian Barty collapsed to a 3-6 6-3 6-4 defeat in Shenzhen.
Barty lost seven games in a row from 3-3 in the second set after a series of errors and could not recover."It is a great atmosphere and it's the last tournament of the year so I am trying to give all the energy I have left in me," Bertens said after recording her first win over the French Open champion. "In the beginning I wasn't playing as well and had to feel the court and got better and better as I tried to play aggressively and it turned out pretty well."Bertens, who made her debut at the WTA Finals in 2018 and reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Elina Svitolina, had herself started poorly, only holding serve once in four attempts in the first set.She then twice trailed by a break in the second set - at 2-1 and 3-2 - before Barty's level dropped.Barty fought back from 4-0 to 5-4 in the third set but Bertens closed out the match on serve at the first opportunity.Bertens will only play two matches in Red Group because of her late entry but can still advance to the semi-finals. She faces Switzerland's Belinda Bencic on Thursday.Barty would have qualified for the semi-finals with a match to spare if she had beaten Bertens but will get another opportunity when she takes on Czech Petra Kvitova on Thursday.The WTA Finals event features the world's top eight players competing in two round-robin groups of four, with the winners and runners-up advancing to the semi-finals.Ukraine's Svitolina is in the Purple Group alongside world number two Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, Romania's Simona Halep and Canada's Bianca Andreescu.
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