Wozniacki stunned in Wuhan; Barty time after Kerber upset

Australian Ashleigh Barty takes a selfie with a fan after her victory over Angelique Kerber at the Wuhan Open on 26 September 2018

As Puig broke again to take a 4-3 lead, she would even begin to deploy a strategy of judicious net play to excellent effect, bringing the former World No.1 in with a dropshot before putting her own volley away, and more exquisite net play paved the way to another break for 6-5.

There is seemingly no place like home for Wang, who needed just 67 minutes to defeat Puig in a match short in duration but full of action.

"I feel like by far this was my best match", said Barty, who is looking to end the 2018 season on a high.

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.

Pavlyuchenkova continued to apply pressure and was quickly enjoying a 3-0 lead in the second, Kvitova having to fend off three more chances on her own serve to avoid a thrashing.

"I set myself that goal at the start of the year, that I want to stay top-20". I feel like I'm a top-20 player.

Puig, who turns 25 on Thursday, appeared unfazed by her opponent s stature, and kept the Dane under pressure throughout with her aggressive play, especially during the tie-breaker, when control swayed between the two. "It's my first final this year... it's really exciting".

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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.

Sabalenka beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-5 6-3 in their quarter-final.

"I've been able to do that in my last couple of matches a little bit better, and I'm certainly happy to be in another semi-final".

"I'm just going to go with the flow, and we'll see what's going to happen in a few days".

Tomic, who had his ranking bottom out at No.243 in May, saved a match point on Wednesday against South African Lloyd Harris in a 7-6 2-6 7-6 win.

Wozniacki, Kerber and Halep's exits have presented an opportunity for the others to push towards the top spot as well as qualification for next month's WTA Finals in Singapore.

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