China's Wang Qiang powers into China Open semis

Xinhua
Wang moved past Wuhan Open champion Arnya Sabalenka and snapping her 8-match winning streak in straight sets: 7-5, 7-5.
Xinhua
Xinhua

Wang Qiang of China celebrates after winning the women's singles quarterfinal match against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus at China Open tennis tournament in Beijing, China, October 5, 2018. Wang Qiang won 2-0.

China's Wang Qiang booked a spot in the semifinals of the ongoing China Open on Thursday, moving past Wuhan Open champion Arnya Sabalenka and snapping her 8-match winning streak in straight sets: 7-5, 7-5.

From the outset of the match, it was clear that Sabalenka planned to stick to the formula that has worked wonders for her thus far on the Asian swing: an aggressive baseline game that relies on her powerful forehand.

And it appeared to be working, with the Belarussian rushing to a 3-0 lead, breaking Wang's first service game with ease.

With the pressure on, Wang responded to the assault that Sabalenka launched from the baseline with some very crafty movement around the court.

Wang's fluidity of movement started accomplishing its purpose just as Sabalenka's tendency to accumulate unforced errors started working against her, with Wang breaking her service at 2-3.

The two players then traded breaks to 4-all, but Wang managed to hold serve for the rest of the first set, breaking once more with some spectacular cross-court shooting from the forehand side to take the set in 48 minutes.

It was this ability to go cross court and withstand Sabalenka's baseline assault that allowed Wang to hold her serve throughout the second, saving two break points and going on to break Sabalenka to pull ahead at 6-5 and never look back, sealing the straight-set victory in one hour, 47 minutes, to the delight of the home crowd on the Diamond Court of China's National Tennis Center.

Wang goes on to face world No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals.

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