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Barty seals first Premier 5 final with Ostapenko victory

WUHAN, China - Unseeded Ashleigh Barty's magical week at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open continued on Friday, as the Australian reached her first Premier 5 level final with a 6-3, 6-0 win over No.8 seed Jelena Ostapenko.

Striking 15 winners and seven aces in 15 games, the 21-year-old took advantage of a weary Ostapenko, who saw an eight-match winning streak in Asia snapped.

Unseeded Ashleigh Barty scored her third Top 10 victory of the week in Wuhan to reach her first Premier 5 level final.
Over the course of the week in Wuhan, the World No.37 scored three Top 10 wins, and four over Top 15 players to reach both her third final of the season, and of her career.

"It been an unbelievable week. We've played some really good tennis," Barty said after the match. "I think for us, we've been able to play a really consistent level throughout every match. We haven't had any real drops. We've been able to change things tactically a little bit and be able to implement those really well.

"I think every match is the same for me. It doesn't matter whether it's the first round at Wimbledon or the final here tomorrow. I think for me I try and approach the match the exact same way. I go through my same routines. Have a discussion with my coach before we go out on court, then we try to do the best we can."

Never trailing in the biggest singles semifinal of her career to date, Barty nabbed an early break in Ostapenko's first service game to lead 2-0, but moved ahed for good on the back of a a second break in the sixth game of the opener.

Four of the first six games went to deuce, and the World No.37 claimed three of them as she used her patented brand of all-court tennis to move the French Open champion around the court.

With her momentum building, Barty used three aces to deliver and emphatic hold to lead 5-2, and stayed similarly strong in closing out the first set on serve in just under an hour.

The second set was all Barty, as she did not experiencing any kind of letdown in her blistering form - a moment which characterized the first career meeting between the two in Rome in May, where she fell from a set up in a marathon 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 encounter.

A quick break stamped Barty's authority in the second set, and she added two more before proceedings were finished to run her streak to the last seven games of the match.

"It was nice to come through not having [7-]6 in the third, not having to go to three sets," Barty said. "I think Jelena was struggling a little bit tonight. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but I'm just happy that I was able to sort of keep the foot down on the pedal and to be able to sort of roll that second set out."

Ostapenko never managed to create a break point on Barty's serve in the second set, as the French Open champion saw her winning streak in Asia come to an end after her second career title in Seoul, and first win over a reigning World No.1 against Garbiñe Muguruza in the quarterfinals in Wuhan.

Barty will face Caroline Garcia as she bids for her second title of the season after winning in Kuala Lumpur, and finished runner-up to Petra Kvitova at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

"I feel like, both finals I've played this year I've played really well," she assessed. "In Birmingham, I probably couldn't have done too much more. Petra played an amazing match. I think it was really good quality from both of us.

"It's just exciting that I get another opportunity to take home a title. And if not, it's still a bloody good week. I think we can just really enjoy the fact this week we've been able to string some really good matches together. It really has been a phenomenal year. For me, I don't know if I thought it was all possible, but it's certainly nice to be reaping the rewards."

Source: http://www.wtatennis.com/news/barty-seals-first-premier-5-final-ostapenko-victory-dongfeng-motor-wuhan-open

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