The 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.