Sabalenka to face Kontaveit for Wuhan title

Sabalenka to face Kontaveit for Wuhan title

She won her second at the Guangzhou Open last week and yesterday became the first home-grown player to reach the semi-finals of the Wuhan Open after breezing past Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-3, 6-1, extending her win-loss streak on Chinese soil this year to 14-1.

Earlier, Australia's Ashleigh Barty had to dig deep to overcome Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, beating the Russian 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to secure her semi-final berth. Her march to the last four included an upset of world number seven Karolina Pliskova.

Wang, ranked 34 in the world by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), continued her terrific recent form and broke Puig twice to rush into a 4-0 lead.

"If I can play as well as she did, I will have a very ideal life".

"I wanted to hold on game after game, perhaps hoping for a miracle", Wang said. "This is the first time I've made it into the semifinal of a Premier 5 tournament, so I'm very happy today".

Sabalenka, who earned her maiden WTA title at this summer's Connecticut Open, faces Estonia's Anett Kontaveit in the final.

Kontaveit loses Wuhan Open final | News

"I'm so sorry that it had to end this way and I feel so bad for (Wang)", said the Estonian, who is now 27th in the WTA rankings.

Saturday's match will be the first meeting between Kontaveit and Sabalenka.

The world number 20 from Belarus is also on the brink of the most significant title of her career this weekend in what will be her fourth final of an excellent season.

But she soon found her groove and came roaring back to take the set on a tie-breaker.

In-form Barty is now ranked 17th in the world, and a strong finish in Wuhan - where the victor will get 900 points - could help her inch up the rankings before the end of the season. "She put pressure on me. I actually didn't know what do on the court", said the 20-year-old Sabalenka after becoming the youngest Wuhan Open finalist. In the ensuing tiebreaker, Sabalenka reeled off five points in a row to steal the set.

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