While Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Grigor Dimitrov headline the men’s final four in Beijing, the women actually have the bigger event there — $1.271M to the women’s winner vs $652K to the men’s!
That said, with 9 of the Top 10 players entered (only Venus didn’t make the trip), Simona Halep was the only Top 8 player to make the semifinals.
But after mowing down Daria Kasatkina — who beat her in Wuhan last week — 6-2, 6-1, she’ll now get a rematch with Jelena Ostapenko who stunned her in the French Open final.
“I expect a tough one, but it’s going to be a big challenge either way, so I have to think what I have to play against them, and just try to do my job like I did today,” Halep said.
We didn’t hear much from Ostapenko over the summer hardcourts – but she’s back in form in Asia winning 11 of her last 12 including a smallish title in Seoul last month and then she knocked out the world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza en route to the Wuhan semifinals last week. And she’s back in her third straight semi after beating Sori Cirstea 6-4, 6-4.
“She’s a great player,” Ostapenko said of Halep. “If I play my best and I stay aggressive tomorrow and I am consistent, I think everything can happen.”
In the other semifinals, Caroline Garcia, who upset No. 3 Elina Svitolina, meets Petra Kvitova after the Czech eliminated countrywoman Barbora Strycova.
Garcia won a similarly upset-filled Wuhan last week (8 of the Top 10 played, only Muguruza made the SFs). She’s never played Kvitova before and following a 6-7(5),7-5,7-6(6) win over the Ukraine, why not another title? The question is, after 3 hours, 21 minutes, and a bad loss to Kvitova at the US Open, can she keep it going?
“The match we played at the US Open, I was a little bit disappointed by my performance,” Garcia said. “I really want to do better, and I know I have to try to dominate the point or I will run a lot.”
“We all know what she’s capable of doing, so I’m excited to go on court and to have another opportunity to improve and go for it.”
Like Ostapenko, Garcia has won 11 of 12 during this Asian swing and has taken her last 9 matches.
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