WUHAN, China (AP) Ashleigh Barty of Australia reached her biggest WTA final when she beat French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-0 at the Wuhan Open on Friday.
Barty will play Caroline Garcia in the final after the Frenchwoman beat qualifier Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-3, 6-2 in the other semifinal.
Ostapenko, the last surviving seed at No. 8, appeared tired. Her previous three matches, including a win over top-ranked Garbine Muguruza on Thursday, all went three sets. But Barty’s three previous matches went the distance, too, plus she reached the semifinals in doubles.
Barty took command of their match with a break for 4-2. When she served out for the set, it began a run of seven straight games to finish the match and her third win over a top-10 player this week.
Unable to get going, Ostapenko complained to her coach and asked for treatment from a trainer. Neither helped the Latvian.
Garcia was hardly threatened by Sakkari, who was more tentative than she had been all week in her first WTA semifinal.
Garcia has reached her first final of the year, and will play for her fourth career title.
“It feels good,; it was long time without a final but a lot happened this year,” Garcia said.
She has never met Barty, who won her first career title in March in Kuala Lumpur.
LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.
At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.
The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.
“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.
Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.
Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.
Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.