WUHAN (China) • Australia's Ashleigh Barty crushed French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-0 yesterday, cruising into the final at tennis' Wuhan Open.
Barty, who began this year ranked outside the top 300, will face Caroline Garcia in her first Premier 5 tournament final after the French player toppled Greece's Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-2 in another one-sided semi-final.
World No. 10 Ostapenko struggled with a right wrist niggle and appeared tired after triumphing over world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza in the quarter-finals.
"I had no energy," the 20-year-old Latvian said. "I've been playing so many matches... and yesterday we finished quite late, so I didn't really have enough time to recover."
Barty, ranked 37th in the world, snatched an early break in the first set to lead her normally fiery opponent 2-0.
Ostapenko broke back but the Australian moved ahead again in the sixth game and held on to close the first set in just under an hour.
After breaking early in the second set, Barty stormed ahead to the finishing line in less than 30 minutes.
She had already seen off former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, ninth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska, and fifth-seed Johanna Konta in a dream run in the Chinese city.
"It's been an unbelievable week. I've played some really good tennis at a really consistent level throughout the match and haven't had any real drops," the 21-year-old said.
"I feel like I'm moving well on the court. I feel like I have full control of the ball, which in some conditions it's really tough to do."
WTA WUHAN OPEN
Final: StarHub Ch203, 3.30pm