What started out as a star-studded Wuhan field featuring 9 of the Top 10 players, has widdled down to two unseeded finalists, Aryna Sabalenka and Anett Kontaveit.
Sabalenka continued to build off of her summer run, moving past Ash Barty in the semifinals 7-6(2), 6-4 to reach her biggest final.
“I didn’t expect this level from me,” Sabalenka said, during her post-match press conference. “I’m so happy that I am on this level. Now I really like to fight. I think this is, you know, why it’s going really fast.”
Kontaveit didn’t even play a full match as Wang Qiang was retired with a left thigh injury down 6-2, 2-1.
“Tomorrow it’s another chance to take one more title,” said Sabalenka. “I hope I will come on the court without any nerves. I will just try to show my best and enjoy it.
“Today she had a lot of winners down the line,” Sabalenka said of Kontaveit. “It looks really unbelievable, really powerful. She has a good serve. Well, she’s a great player. She’s in the final. Of course, she’s great. It will be another tough match.”
Sabalenka is seeking her second career title after New Haven as is the 22-year-old Kontaveit. The two have never played before.
Earlier in the week, top seed Simona Halep fell to Dominika Cibulkova in her opener. No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki fell to Monica Puig in the third round. No. 3 Angelique Kerber was knocked out by Barty also in the third round and defending champion Caroline Garcia was ousted in her opener by Katerina Siniakova.
Sixteen players were seeded, just one made the quarterfinals (Barty).
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