World No.1 Ashleigh Barty was knocked out of the Wuhan Open 2019 on Friday, losing her semi-final tie 7-5, 6-4 to the defending champion Aryna Sabalenka in 1 hour and 41 minutes.
Aryna Sabalenka made a strong start by breaking the No.1 seed in the opening game of the match. However, Ashleigh Barty came back into the match after capitalizing the first breakpoint on Sabalenka’s serve to get back on serve at 3-3.
It looked like the opening set would be decided by a tiebreaker but the Belarusian changed gears to broke the Australian for the second time to serve for the set.
Barty still did not lose hopes as she saved two set points when Aryna Sabalenka was serving for the opener. The 23-year-old also earned two break points to stay in the set but she squandered the opportunity as Aryna held her serve and claim the first set 7-5 in 56 minutes.
Attention: @SabalenkaA is on 🔥
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) September 27, 2019
Ashleigh Barty broke Sabalenka’s momentum in the second set as she started off well holding her serve comfortably and troubling the 21-year-old in her opening service game of the set, however, the Australian once again failed to grab the breakpoint opportunities.
The two players then held their serves comfortably without facing a single breakpoint on either of the service games till 4-4, when Barty wasted two game points on her serve and was broken by the Belarusian to serve for the match. Sabalenka held her serve comfortably to claim the match.
On her way to defend her title, world No.14 Aryna Sabalenka will face the winner of the match between Petra Kvitova and Alison Riske in the finals of the Wuhan Open 2019. With this victory, Sabalenka will also maintain her spot in the top 20 rankings of the WTA leaderboards.
Back to back finals for Sabalenka in Wuhan.
She needed to reach the final here to stay on top 20. Saving her ranking with a great week. https://t.co/Yqbbf3rstd
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 27, 2019
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