Barty storms past fatigued Ostapenko, reaches Wuhan final


Ashleigh Barty needed just one hour and eight minutes to beat reigning Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-0 to make her biggest career final at the Premier 5 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

Early in the first set, the eighth-seeded Ostapenko did show some resistance by breaking back to go from 0-2 to 2-2, but on the court covered by the roof as rain had kicked in after the third game, Ostapenko’s 14 unforced errors greatly helped her focused opponent win the first set.

In-between sets, Ostapenko, who yesterday upset world No.1 Garbine Muguruza, received medical checkup on her blood pressure and right wrist, but the Latvian started the second set alarmingly tired, unsatisfied and uncertain that she would be able to finish the match. The 20-year-old did make it through the encounter, but didn’t win a single game in the second set and the world No.37 Barty, who started the 2017 season ranked outside the Top 300, has now recorded a bagel set in four of her five matches in Wuhan (against Catherine Bellis, Johanna Konta, Agnieszka Radwanska, and now Ostapenko).

In the title match, Barty will play France’s Caroline Garcia, who had no trouble dispatching Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari in the second Friday’s semifinal.



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