Ashleigh Barty downs Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber

Monica Puig- Wuhan 2018- Jimmie48/WTA

"Today's win makes me very, very happy", she said.

Barty started strongly against the 39th-ranked Pavlyuchenkova, taking the first set 6-2, but the Russian did not appear in a mood to give in too easily and made an aggressive recovery to take the second.

"Belarus 5" will show her game with last year's finalist Ashleigh Barty live at 13.30 Yesterday the first racket of Belarus and the 20th in the world was stronger than Dominika Cibulkova in 2 sets.

Television microphones picked up Barty telling her coach Craig Tyzzer when he was summoned courtside at 4-3 in the third set that she was not able to hit through her forehand because of pain.

Wang broke Puig six times and saved seven of the eight break points she faced.

Kvitova battled valiantly in the final game of the match, but after saving four match points she finally succumbed - leaving Pavlyuchenkova to progress to a quarter-final tie with Ashleigh Barty, who had knocked out Kerber earlier in the day.

Last year's runner-up Barty squandered a chance to seal the match in straight sets and had to fight back from a break down in the decider to secure victory in a little over two hours.

The impressive victory was the 14th on the trot on home soil for Wang, who has said she wants to follow the footsteps of China's two-time Grand Slam victor Li Na.

Wang powered past Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-2.

Barty, who won her first tour-level tournament this year in Nottingham, has been in fine form in Wuhan after beating Johanna Konta and Zheng Saisai in the first two rounds.

She joins Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, Elina Svitolina, Angelique Kerber and defending champion Caroline Garcia in bowing out early, with only four seeds remaining in the draw.

Her exit means the first final of 2018 for the 22-year-old Kontaveit, who will be looking to win her second WTA title after enjoying a breakout season in 2017.

But it was a short-lived fightback as Barty, Australia s top-ranked player, quickly regained control while Kerber struggled to contain unforced errors.

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