WUHAN, China - Chinese No.1 Wang Qiang's winning streak on home soil continued at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open on Thursday, as she took out qualifier Monica Puig in the quarterfinalss, 6-3, 6-1.
Already the first Chinese player to reach the final eight in five years of the Premier 5 event, Wang is now the first Chinese player to reach the semifinals.
The 67-minute victory was the latest in 14 straight WTA wins for Wang on home soil. She broke the Puerto Rican's serve six times in the match, and saved seven of the nine break points she faced.
"Today's win makes me very, very happy. This is the first time that I entered the semifinals at a Premier 5, so I'm really happy today," Wang said after the match.
"I'm not sure the significance to everyone. I'm just trying to do my best and put up my best performance."
What a stunner from Wang Qiang! pic.twitter.com/w8d8dkLAbO
— WTA (@WTA) September 27, 2018
Puig, who was seeking her sixth straight victory this week, was unable to replicate the form that took her to a third-round upset of Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, as she totaled 37 unforced errors in the match.
Wang settled in quickly after saving two break points in the first game of the match, as she broke the World No.51 twice en route to establishing a 4-0 lead.
She never trailed overall, and though she twice surrendered serve in the opener from there as Puig won the next three games, she steadied when it mattered to win the final two - and with them, the opening set.
"After 4-0, she played more aggressively, made fewer errors. For me, I played less offensively. Actually, I couldn't have a lot of advantages against her. If I play less offensively, then I will be even more passive, I would be in a worse situation," she said.
"My coach told me that, 'You shouldn't play too passively, you shouldn't stand too far behind the baseline.' I adjusted my position and tried to be more offensive and less passive."
Wang Qiang is now 20-4 since Wimbledon, not including her run to the gold medal at the Asian Games. #WuhanOpen
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) September 27, 2018
An unseeded finalist is assured out of the bottom half of the draw, and Wang will next face the winner of the final quarterfinal of the day: Anett Kontaveit, who ousted qualifier Katerina Siniakova in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.