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WTA Elite Trophy: Defending champion Julia Goerges defeated by Anett Kontaveit

Julia Goerges reacts against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during their women's singles match on day 2 of the 2018 WTA Elite Trophy. Fred Lee/Getty Images

Defending champion Julia Goerges was defeated by Anett Kontaveit in her opening match of the WTA Elite Trophy in Zuhai, China on Wednesday.

Kontaveit worked hard to secure an impressive 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory in over two hours. It was a match Kontaveit needed to win in order to remain in the competition after losing to Elise Mertens in her opening pool game on Tuesday.

World No.14 Georges now needs to beat Merterns in straight sets on Wednesday to have any hope of advancing from the Rose group and reaching the semifinals.

Elsewhere Madison Keys won her opening match of the competition with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-4 victory over No.1 seed Daria Kasatkina in the Azalea group. Keys can qualify for the semifinals on Friday if she beats home favourite Wang Qiang, who lost to Kasatkina on Tuesday.

No.7 seed Garbine Muguruza came from a set down to defeat Shuai Zhang 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Zhang will be eliminated from the Camellia group if she loses to Anastasija Sevastova on Thursday.

The Elite Trophy features the world's top 12 singles players who did not qualify for the WTA Finals last week.

The round-robin format will see the winners from each of the four groups advance to the semifinals.