Friday’s Set Points, WTA Wuhan: A first Premier title up for grabs, Barty vs. Garcia

Set PointsThe final of the Wuhan Open will be an all unseeded affair after Ashleigh Barty and Caroline Garcia both won their semi-finals in straight sets. It’s an unexpected final but a feel-good one for me – I really like both players and this is a huge opportunity, both contesting their biggest WTA final to date.

In the first of the semi-finals, Barty beat Jelena Ostapenko, 6-3 6-0 in just 74 minutes. It was clear that this was one match too far for Ostapenko who had a late match on Thursday night and arrived in Wuhan off the back of a title run in Seoul. Barty though has had a tiring week herself having also played doubles – sadly, Barty and Dellacqua pulled out of their doubles semi-final.

Barty’s run in singles has been totally legit with wins over CiCi Bellis, Johanna Konta, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova and Jelena Ostapenko. Furthermore, she managed to dish out bagels in four of those wins! Take a bow, Ash.

Oh dear! 😂

In the second of the semi-finals, Caroline Garcia beat the qualifier, Maria Sakkari, 6-3 6-2. After a close start, Garcia broke away from 2-2 *40-40 as she began to step into the court and be more aggressive. The Frenchwoman also benefited from a higher percentage of first serves in compared to Sakkari. The Greek player had a terrific tournament, coming through qualifying and winning six matches including four top 50 wins.

I was strangely confident about picking a winner in the the last two rounds, yet very much on the fence for this final. I think it’s pretty level between them and kind of even in experience with neither having contested a final of this calibre. Hopefully having had routine semi-finals means that they will have more energy for this final. I think i’d favour Barty – I have been so impressed with her calm and cool composure on court.

A poll is linked below – who you got?

The main draw for the China Open in Beijing is out. First round highlights include…

Kerber vs. Osaka (again!)

Sevastova vs. Sharapova (again!)

Muguruza vs. Strycova (remember their last match…)

Sadly, Madison Keys was a late withdrawal from Beijing.

First round action begins on Saturday – if playing, get those draws in on Tennis Draw Challenge 😉. I haven’t done my picks yet and i’ll try and do some later tonight. It’s great to have a weekend of tennis to look forward to as opposed to missing matches during the week. At the same time, it would be nice to have some definition in between tournaments and time to prepare!

Thanks to Sara for alerting me to some news about Daria Kasatkina who has reportedly split with her coach, Vladimir Platenik. I’m really surprised by this.

And finally, a few posts on social media that I liked.

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8 thoughts on “Friday’s Set Points, WTA Wuhan: A first Premier title up for grabs, Barty vs. Garcia

  1. Ostapenko playing the late QFs match, which apparently went to early morning, then making her play the early SF match the next day, doesn’t sound like reasonable scheduling. The result is a poor match with an exhausted player, who may have had little sleep.

    WTA players go thru more coaches than 1950’s Hollyweed female stars went thru husbands ( ZaZa Gabor and Liz Taylor had about 10 husbands each).

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    • I agree (about Ostapenko). She’s had a lot of three-setters recently, and that plus the scheduling is bound to have taken its toll.

      Still think she’s too sulky when she loses though; IMO it lets her down.

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      • Plenty of players have had to play two or three matches in a day and don’t whinge and whine like Jelena did. Nobody forced her to play two tournaments in consecutive weeks, that was her choice.

        Anyway I think Barty might have this one. I think Garcia will feel like she should be the favourite and feel the pressure. If she brings her A game then she could overpower Ashleigh, she has the better serve and groundstrokes generally and is also a better mover.

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      • I think I was unfair to Jelena. She may have been “sulky” in the past but this time, at the net after her match with Caro, she behaved with good grace.

        Anyway, great win for Caroline today! Bondareko’s also won today (beating Timea Babos in Tashkent).

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    • Yeah I’m absolutely thrilled, she really deserved to strike gold and win the trophy. She’s absolutely transformed into the top player that many of us have been hoping for her to become for years now.

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