Tennis

Barty cops tough draw for year-end tournament

ASH Barty has drawn one of the form players in her round-robin group at this week’s WTA Elite Trophy event in China.

Arnya Sabalenka, a 20-year-old from Belarus who has motored in the rankings from No.39 to No.12 in less than three months, and France’s Caroline Garcia were drawn on Monday in Barty’s group.

The year-end tournament in Zhuhai is contested by the best players who did not qualify for the WTA Championships.

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Sabalenka beat an injured Barty in their Wuhan, China, semi-final last month before Sabalenka took a second WTA Tour title there, along with the New Haven tournament she won in late August.

Barty and American CoCo Vandewghe were semi-final casualties at the WTA Championships in Singapore in her return from an arm injury.

Ukrainian Elina Svitolina seized the biggest title of her life with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Sloane Stephens in the singles final on Sunday night.

Svitolina will move three places to No.4 in the rankings, above US Open champion Naomi Osaka (now 5), Stephens (6) and Petra Kvitova (7).

Roger Federer won his 99th ATP title at the Swiss indoors with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 final win over Romanian Marius Copel.

It was Federer’s 151st final and delivered his ninth title in Basel, his home city.

John Millman and Alex de Minaur play their last ATP tournament of the year at the Paris Masters this week, which Federer has entered, but carries most interest in helping to decide the year-end No.1 ranking sought by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Two Australian men won Challenger finals on the same day, with Thanasi Kokkinakis taking out a final in Las Vegas on Sunday, hours after Jordan Thompson prevailed in the Traralgon final in Victoria.

Kokkinakis saw off Slovenia’s Blaz Rola 6-4, 6-4.

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