Barty surges into Wuhan Open semi-finals

She will next face Ostapenko, who defeated Muguruza 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 yesterday to book a semi-final berth.

World No.1 GarbiƱe Muguruza survived a tough challenge from Magda Linette en route to a 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 triumph in the third round of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

"I think she played very aggressively", Muguruza said.

Second for match wins across all surfaces this season (49), behind Wozniacki (53), Pliskova handed a pivotal minibreak to 4-3 in the second set tiebreak.

Simona Halep's challenge for top spot had been ended in the second round, but Karolina Pliskova remained a threat until she was beaten by Ashleigh Barty earlier in the day.

"I didn't do much wrong in that first set, but came up short, so credit to her", Barty said.

The match was not always high quality, with the two combining to hit well over 50 unforced errors, though there was plenty of drama, with Ostapenko rallying from a poor first set and then a break down in the final set to seal a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win in an hour and 57 minutes.

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Ostapenko banged out her second straight break and a 4-2 lead.

"Today she (Ostapenko) went for her shots, she served pretty good and she returned very good as well", she added.

"Today I had no pressure because I knew I'm playing a great player, so I just went out there and tried to show my best and played very well". "It was a close match at the end, three sets".

Muguruza, who had been hunting for her first victory as the top-ranked player in the world, found herself grappling with a knee injury that has plagued her for the past two weeks.

Ostapenko and Barty will meet each other for a place in the final, while the other semi sees Caroline Garcia take on qualifier Maria Sakkari, who maintained her impressive run on Thursday with victory over Alize Cornet.

Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation also made it to the quarters, beating compatriot Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-4. The showdown between Muguruza and Ostapenko will be the first meeting in 2017 between any of this year's Grand Slam champions.

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