The final Premier Mandatory event of the 2019 WTA season will go to either Naomi Osaka or Ash Barty. The two both reached the Beijing finals via different routes Saturday in China.
Osaka had now trouble ending the run of defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 to reach her first Beijing final.
Osaka, who was down a break in the quarters to Bianca Andreescu, broke at 4-all and against early in the second to cruise.
Earlier, Barty had a much different semifinal, saving a match point to win to deny Kiki Bertens 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7) in a thriller.
“I thought the quality was exceptional from both of us at times. Win or lose, you come off feeling pretty good about it. Obviously, it sucks there’s only one winner,” Barty said. “But I’m pretty happy with the way I was able to fight and dig in late in that third, as well.
“I think Kiki has the ability to play a lot of different types of tennis as well. She can be very aggressive, she can drop back and make you play a lot of balls.
“That’s one of the biggest challenges about playing her, is you know she’s got options B, C and D, all the way through to be able to try to win the match.”
Barty leads Osaka 2-1 in their head-to-head.
“I feel like I just can’t make too many unforced errors,” Osaka said looking to her match against Barty. “For me, she’s a consistent power player. She also has a lot of, like, change-up shots.
“I feel like half of what I have to do is not be too crazy on the change-up shots and also try to be the more aggressive player out there.”
The haven’t met since Barty won in Nottingham last year.
“I think both of us are different players now. It’s probably hard to take much out of those two matches,” Barty said. “It’s a bit of a clean slate, a fresh start for both of us.”
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