Sport Tennis Ash Barty surges into Wuhan Open semi-finals
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Ash Barty surges into Wuhan Open semi-finals

Ashleigh Barty
Ashleigh Barty has continued her sensational form with a top-five win over Karolina Pliskova to reach the Wuhan Open semi-finals. Photo: Getty
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Ashleigh Barty has reached her third WTA semi-final of the year after she defeated world No.4 Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals of the Wuhan Open on Thursday.

The 21-year-old Australian fought back from dropping the first set to claim a 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-2) win – her first against a top five opponent.

Barty squandered three match points when serving for victory in the 10th game of the final set but quickly put that disappointment behind her.

She dominated the tiebreaker and Czech third seed Pliskova double-faulted to hand Barty the biggest scalp of her career.

“I’ve played Karolina a couple of times now, and it’s been very close every time,” Barty said in her on-court post-match interview.

“I’m happy to come through with the win today, I feel like we both played pretty good.”

Pliskova was Barty’s third seeded victim in succession, following on from her three-set wins over ninth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Brit Johanna Konta, the fifth seed.

Barty – who started the year ranked 271 in the world and will move into the top 30 for the first time – will face world No.1 and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza or French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the semi-finals.

“It’s been an amazing season, it really has,” Barty said.

“I was very motivated and worked very hard last year to get back to where we are now.”