Barty books place in Elite Trophy final
ASHLEIGH Barty originally figured she would have left China already but, instead, Australia's leading female tennis player is through to the final of the WTA Elite Trophy.
Barty feared her tournament was over after her round robin stage debut in Zhuhai ended with defeat to Aryna Sabalenka - but a key result fell her way before she overwhelmed defending champion Julia Gorges in Saturday's first semi-final, 4-6 6-3 6-2.
She will now play local hope Wang Qiang who outclassed double grand slam winner Garbine Muguruza.
Barty grew into her semi-final, saying "It's always nice to get better as a match goes on. I felt pretty good physically out there."
Asked how she was able to turn the match around after losing the first set, she said she made a tactical change.
"I think I had to try an assert myself a little bit earlier in points," she said.
"Then when I was able to finally get some momentum and get into Julia's service games, I was able to get into points and work my way into those games and give myself a chance."
Meanwhile, China's number one took full advantage of a late call-up to the semi-final tie after American Madison Keys pulled out just hours before the match started.
Spurred on by home fans, Wang dominated the former world number one, winning 11 games in a row to take the match 6-2 6-0.
The world number 22 looked calm and focused during the 73-minute semi-final, while Muguruza appeared out of sorts and frustrated, clattering her racket on to the court in the second set.
"I just relaxed very well, there's no pressure," Wang said..