Elina Svitolina, of Ukraine, reaches to return a shot to Ekaterina Makarova, of Russia, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke
November 06, 2015

ZHUHAI, China (AP) Elina Svitolina advanced to the semifinals of the WTA Elite Trophy by beating second-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-3 Friday.

The eighth-seeded Ukrainian took control after dropping a marathon 80-minute first set, saving four of seven break points in the second and third sets.

''It was such a crazy match today,'' Svitolina said. ''I was playing really well out there, and Carla was playing really well as well. It was a marathon match and really tough obviously, but I was really happy with how I played today. This is a big win.''

The tournament brings together 11 of the top players who did not qualify for last week's WTA Finals in Singapore. The qualifiers compete in a four-group round robin format, with the winners of each group advancing to the semifinals.

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova defeated fourth-seeded Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-0. Vinci already qualified for the semifinals after Caroline Wozniacki retired against Svetlana Kuznetsova on Thursday and pulled out of the tournament.

Top-seeded Venus Williams will play against Vinci in Saturday's semifinals, while third-seeded Karolina Pliskova faces Svitolina.

If Williams wins the title she will return to the top 10 for the first time in more than four years.

Also, seventh-seeded Madison Keys beat Chinese wild-card entry Saisai Zheng 6-3, 6-2.

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