Ash Barty continues strong form at Wuhan Open

Sep 29, 2017, 00:24
Ash Barty continues strong form at Wuhan Open

Muguruza will face French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the quarterfinal round after the Latvian defeated Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 6-2, 3-5, 6-3.

Muguruza's number-one ranking was on the line this week and, while Pliskova would have needed to win the tournament to topple the Wimbledon champion, it will doubtless have been on her mind in Wuhan.

"I played against her (Barty) this year in Rome".

Barty will meet Ostapenko, the only seed to reach the semifinals. Muguruza, perhaps buoyed by her performance in the first set, was able to break back and even up proceedings at 3-3, though the Spaniard was no longer playing as well as she had in the first set and was immediately broken once again.

Simona Halep's challenge for top spot had been ended in the second round, but Karolina Pliskova remained a threat until she was beaten by Ashleigh Barty earlier in the day.

"I just beat number one and it's unbelievable", Ostapenko said in her on-court interview.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits a return against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Repubic during the women's singles quarter-final at the WTA Wuhan Open in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province

The match was not always high quality, with the two combining to hit well over 50 unforced errors, though there was plenty of drama, with Ostapenko rallying from a poor first set and then a break down in the final set to seal a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win in an hour and 57 minutes.

The World No.88 has a history of peaking in Asia, though - and this year has been quietly putting together one of the finest stretches of her career to date. I will try to recover as fast as I can today and hopefully I can play good tomorrow.

"Today I had no pressure because I knew I'm playing a great player, so I just went out there and tried to show my best and played very well". It was a pretty close match at the end.

"She will face Caroline Garcia, who registered her 39th tour‐level match win of season and clinched the fifth semifinal, the first ever in a Premier 5 event as she beat Ekaterina Makarova 7-6 6-4".

Five of the eight quarter-finalists are unseeded included Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari, who knocked out 16th seed Elena Vesnina 7-6 (8/6) 7-5.