Williams reaches Zhuhai final

Top seed Venus Williams reached the final of the WTA Elite Trophy on Saturday after demolishing US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci in straight sets in the semi-finals in Zhuhai.

The seven-time grand slam winner made short work of the Italian, who famously beat her sister and world number one Serena in the US Open semi-finals two months ago, breaking serve six times en route to a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

In what was her 40th main draw win of the season, the 35-year-old's highest tally since 2008, the 35-year-old wrapped up the match in just over an hour.

Williams also beat Vinci in the last four en route to her 47th WTA Tour title at the Wuhan Open last year.

The last time Williams won three titles in a calendar year was in 2008, when she won Wimbledon for the fifth time in what was her last grand slam title.

Williams will face Karolina Pliskova in Sunday's final, after she defeated Elina Svitolina in the second semi-final.

Pliskova needed just over an hour to see her way past Svitolina, winning 6-3, 6-1 to claim her third win in as many matches against the Ukrainian.

She broke Svitolina in the first and ninth matches and defended two break points on her way to victory in the first set.

After both players held their serves in the first two games of the second set, Pliskova strung together five consecutive wins to wrap up the match. The Czech has never face Williams before.

The WTA Elite Trophy is a new, 12-player event that serves as the second-tier version of the WTA Finals and features the next dozen players on the world rankings that didn't qualify for the year-end show-piece.