Zhang Shuai fought back to defeat Yanina Wickmayer, 16 64 64, in the Nanjing semifinals on Saturday. In the final she faces Ayumi Morita.
WTA Staff

NANJING, China - Zhang Shuai overcame a nightmare start to defeat No.2 seed Yanina Wickmayer and reach the final of the Nanjing Ladies Open on Saturday.

While Serena Williams and Li Na may have been dominating the headlines, the last few months have also been mightily impressive for Zhang, who has won her maiden WTA title, in Guangzhou, and climbed to within reach of a Top 50 debut.

For the first half hour against Wickmayer, though, it looked like her season was to end with a whimper.

Zhang was put on the back foot immediately when she dropped serve to love in the opening game and never really recovered, winning just 10 more points as the first set came and went in the blink of an eye.

But Wickmayer failed to press home her advantage at the start of the second and as Zhang grew in confidence the tide began to turn; she nicked the set before rattling off four games in a row at the start of the decider to take control.

With the tables now turned, Wickmayer could find no way back into the contest, and despite a late rally, Zhang eventually closed out a 16 64 64 win after just under two hours on court.

Meeting Zhang in the final will be Ayumi Morita, who put an end to Jarmila Gajdosova's surprise run, 76(6) 62.

Playing her first competitive tennis following a six-month break due to glandular fever, Gajdosova's progress through qualifying and to the semifinals has been the feel good story of the week, but after a bright start she finally ran out of steam against Morita.

Gajdosova had her chances in the first set, most notably when she served for it at 5-4, but in the end was undone by Morita's consistency, which proved the difference in the tie-break before helping her run away with the second.