Ashleigh Barty: I feel like a Top-20 Player

Monica Puig- Wuhan 2018- Jimmie48/WTA

Monica Puig- Wuhan 2018- Jimmie48/WTA

The aggression of Pavlyuchenkova in the second set and most of the third asked a lot of Barty before the Russian abruptly conceded her last service game with two forehand errors.

Barty moves on to the quarter-finals, where she will face either the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova or Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Ashleigh Barty has claimed one of the biggest scalps of her tennis career, beating Wimbledon champion and world No.3 Angelique Kerber to progress to the quarterfinals of the Wuhan Open. "It was nice to be able to take a couple of my opportunities in the third", said Barty, a finalist here in 2017.

Suddenly, the aggression that had initially seemed over-eager was resulting in a cascade of winners - 24 in the set - and putting her in control; her groundstrokes were holding up enough to puncture even Wozniacki's indefatigable defence; and her first serve, missing to start with, was betting her free points.

From 5-2 up in the opener, Barty survived a spirited fightback from Kerber and won eight of the last nine games to seal a straight-sets victory.

Wozniacki came close in both sets, but Barty didn't allow Kerber any momentum as she denied the world No. 3 the chance to narrow the gap on the top ranking held by Simona Halep, who lost her opening match.

She will take on Anett Kontaveit - who knocked out Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 6-4 - in the first semi-final on Friday.

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Barty was beaten by Garcia in the Wuhan final past year and the Australian stayed in contention to go one better.

Wang defeated Olympic champion Monica Puig 6-3, 6-1 to become the first Chinese player to reach the semifinals in the event's five-year history.

Barty, who won her first tour-level tournament this year in Nottingham, has been in fine form in Wuhan after beating Johanna Konta and Zheng Saisai in the first two rounds.

"She's always hard to play against.

She's a great player", Sabalenka said.

She will now face Wang Qiang of China, who ousted Australia's Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-2 to the delight of the home crowd.

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