No.1 Barty to face defending champion Sabalenka in Wuhan Open semis


World No.1 Ashleigh Barty is through to the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open semifinals for the third straight year and she’ll try to go one step further in a rematch of the 2018 semifinal against Aryna Sabalenka.

Aryna SabalenkaIn a match that could have gone either way, top seed Ashleigh Barty prevailed 7-6(6) 3-6 6-3 against Petra Martic in two hours and 22 minutes. The Australian, who was ranked No.17 at the tournament’s last year’s edition, raced to an early 4-1 lead, amazingly winning 15 successive points. As Barty’s concentration dropped, Martic fought back and the favorite even had to save a set point in the tiebreaker.

The unseeded Martic was superior in the second set, losing just four points on serve and capitalizing on the sole break point opportunity she earned, while Barty piled up 13 unforced errors. In the decider, the Croatian world No.22 recorded a break in the first game, but was immediately broken back and then Barty took a decisive 5-3 lead before successfully serving the match out.

Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka for the first time this week dropped a set, but the ninth-seeded Belarusian continued her Wuhan winning streak by dispatching Kazakh wildcard Elena Rybakina 6-3 1-6 6-3.

In the bottom half of the draw, two-time Wuhan Open champion and fifth seed Petra Kvitova beat Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska 6-2 6-4 to progress into the semis where she will face Alison Riske, the unseeded American that upset third seed Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-3.


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