Wang heartbroken as Kontaveit, Sabalenka in final
- Author: Stacy Allen Oct 01, 2018,
Oct 01, 2018, 12:45
Up next for Puig is local hope Wang Qiang who is looking to secure back-to-back titles after winning in Guangzhou last week.
"In terms of technique, in the past year I think I've been doing quite similar [things], but I'm really more confident", said Wang, whose family paid for her to train in Japan during her formative years, instead of sticking with China's state-run sports system.
But Pavlyuchenkova fought back to force a deciding set, in which Barty broke serve in the critical final game to seal the win in two hours, seven minutes.
Kontaveit will come up against another unseeded player in what will the biggest final of her career as she goes in search of a second title - the first coming in Den Bosch previous year. "I tried to play more returns to her shots because her strategy would also have greater errors".
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus overcame 16th-seeded Australian Ashleigh Barty 7-6 (2), 6-4 on Friday to reach the final at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan (China) Open.
"I missed a lot of really easy balls".
After falling behind 3-2 in the opening set, Kvitova showed her quality to reel off four games in a row to move ahead - albeit after saving five break points in the ninth.
Barty said she feels at home on the Wuhan centre court, even feeling it reminds her of Pat Rafter Arena.
"From the beginning of the season, the goal has been top 20 for this year", she said. Wang powered past Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-2.
Kontaveit, who led 6-2, 2-1 and was 30-0 up at the point when the match came to an end, thus becomes the first Estonian player to reach the final of a WTA Premier 5 event.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert advanced to the quarterfinals of the Shenzhen Open by beating second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Wednesday.
This win was Barty's first over a top-10 player since last year's Wuhan tournament, when she defeated the world's No.7, No.4 and No.10 players on her way to the final.