- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 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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