Sabalenka sets up Kontaveit final

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Aryna Sabalenka reached the final of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open following a straight set win on Friday.

The world number 20 battled past Ashleigh Barty 7-6(2), 6-4 on the hard courts of the Chinese city to reach the biggest final of her career.

It was the Australian that started like a house on fire, holding serve with consummate ease, rushing the net and breaking Sabalenka early on.

But while serving for the set, Barty began to wobble. Down triple break point, she recovered somewhat, but would double fault and eventually give the Belarusian the break back. In the ensuing tiebreaker, Sabalenka reeled off five points in a row to steal the set.

Sabalenka broke Barty in the opening service game of the second set and got better as the match went on, unleashing a flurry of winners as she served out the match.

Waiting for her in the final is Anett Kontaveit, who was 6-2, 2-1 up when local hopeful Qiang Wang withdrew due to a left thigh injury.