Both Ashleigh Barty and Anett Kontaveit will seek to make their second Premier 5/Mandatory final on Thursday afternoon. The pair were losing finalists at the Wuhan Open over the past two years.
Barty will finally be in the Top 10 after this run, capping off a strong year that saw her win 2 titles including Zhuhai. The Australian is a consistent force and rarely loses to opponents with a much lower ranking than her. She picked up her first win over Petra Kvitova in a late night match, eventually coming out on top 7-6 3-6 6-2. “It was important for me to try and take Petra’s serve away from her as much as possible.” she said afterwards. “I tried to do the best I could and tried to get into as many service games as I could, and I thought I did that really well tonight.”
Kontaveit has had a strong tournament but has been the beneficiary of some draw luck. Bianca Andreescu was totally spent after a spectacular month while Su Wei Hsieh had taken out opponents that may have been considered tougher for the Estonian. That said, she had to fight extremely hard to make it here – coming from a double break down in the third set of her win against Hsieh.
Barty and Kontaveit are yet to play at pro level but the pair are familiar from their time at juniors. “I think we played each other a few times in juniors. I do know how she’s playing. She’s, of course, a very good player, as well. Yeah, she’s very crafty, and she has a good serve. You know, very good forehand.” Kontaveit said on Barty.
Prediction – Ashleigh Barty in three sets