China Open 2019: Saturday Tennis Scores, Results & Finals Schedule | Launderer’s report
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Top seed Ashleigh Barty will face Naomi Osaka in the China Open final on Sunday after saving a match point en route to a thrilling semi-final win over Kiki Bertens on Saturday.
Barty eventually edged out a three-set contest in a tiebreak, having beaten Bertens earlier as she served for the match. Osaka beat Wozniacki in straight sets later in the day, setting up the clash in the final.
Dominic Thiem was the first to enter the men’s final, as he came from behind to beat Karine Khachanov. Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Alex Zverev later in the day to join him.
Saturday program and results
(8) KikI Bertens bt. (1) Ashleigh Barty: 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7)
(4) Naomi Osaka bt. (16) Caroline Wozniacki: 6-4, 6-2
(1) Dominic Thiem bt. (4) Karen Khachanov: 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5
(3) Stefanos Tsitsipas bt. (2) Alex Zverev: 7-6 (8), 6-4
Both finals will be played on Sunday, with the women’s final in the lead. The full match schedule is available here.
The first game of the day set a positive tone in Beijing as Barty and Bertens left it all on the court in three sets.
Barty flew out of the traps to win the first three games of game one, giving him a platform to push and clinch the set. Bertens responded with enthusiasm, however, as she rode a three-game streak early in the second, serving brilliantly to level the game.
After both players took service breaks at the start of a nervous decider, they settled into a few attrition points:
Bertens was then able to strike in game five, breaking to push forward and then consolidating to go 4-2 in front. At 5-4, she had a chance to serve for the game, but Barty showed why she was the top seed, digging in to break her opponent and keep her chances alive.
Both players kept their cool and held their serves to send the game to a decisive tiebreaker. Unsurprisingly, it was also a close and dramatic fight.
Both Barty and Bertens squandered match points before the Aussie could create another and ultimately claim what will be one of her most satisfying wins of a memorable season.
Then, Barty’s analysis was succinct:
In the first of the men’s semi-finals, Khachanov was able to prevail against Thiem, winning the first three games to put the seed on the back foot. From there, he surrendered to a 6-2 set victory.
Khachanov carried that momentum into the second set, and at 5-3 he had a chance to serve for the match. Thiem hung on, however, pulling back and forcing a tiebreaker, in which he was able to make the match a decider.
At the climax of a tight third set, Thiem seemed the more composed of the two players and was able to play tricky shots like this:
With that in mind, it was no surprise to see him step in with the end in sight. With a 6-5 lead, the top seed jumped on some indecision from her opponent and clinched a spot in Sunday’s showpiece.
By comparison, late action was more one-sided. Osaka used her power and advantage from the baseline to force her way past Wozniacki, losing just six games in the process.
Wozniacki had her chances, but her nerves failed her at crucial moments:
WTA Insider @WTA_insider
Naomi Osaka saves 7 of the 7 break points encountered, including 6 in the 2nd set, to win her 1st victory over Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-2, and qualify for her 1st @ChinaOpen final. Barty against Osaka for the title on Sunday. https://t.co/MjAvso8xk3 https://t.co/uI6w4Nx6y2
Osaka will need to improve her efficiency in the final as Barty is a much better returning player than Wozniacki and could make her pay for her serving issues.
There was no shortage of drama in the second men’s semi-final, although Tsitsipas only needed two sets to beat Zverev. The two young talents brought a lot of emotion to the court, according to tennis writer Tumaini Carayol:
Tsitsipas will play his fifth final of 2019, in what has been a real breakthrough year for the 21-year-old Greek.