Barty beats Martic to reach Wuhan Open semis
WUHAN, China (AP) — Top-ranked Ash Barty reached the semifinals of the Wuhan Open for the third straight year by beating Petra Martic of Croatia 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-3 on Thursday.
Barty won 15 straight points to take a 4-1 lead in the first set before Martic fought back, and the Australian No. 1 even had to save a set point when trailing 6-5 in the tiebreaker. But Barty made 13 unforced errors in the second set as Martic leveled the match. Martic also broke in the opening game of the decider, but Barty broke straight back and then took a decisive 5-3 lead before serving out the match.
“I think it could have gone either way,” Barty said. “I was happy how I was able to fight in the end, put a lot of pressure on her in a lot of those service games in the third.”
In a rematch of the 2018 semifinals, Barty will play defending champion Aryna Sabalenka, who defeated Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.
“She’s No. 1 right now. It’s going to be interesting to play against her. For sure it’s going to be tough match, but I’m looking forward for it,” Sabalenka said.
On the other side of the bracket, two-time Wuhan Open champion Petra Kvitova beat Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semis. Kvitova will next face unseeded American Alison Riske, who upset No. 3-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3.