Kerber falls to Barty on day of upsets in Wuhan

Monica Puig- Wuhan 2018- Jimmie48/WTA

Barty time! Aussie upsets Wimbledon champ Kerber in Wuhan

She was soon rewarded for her aggression though as some fearless visits to the net coupled with 24 winners gave her the first set via a tiebreaker.

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.

While the Puerto Rican will be delighted with the 37 winners she struck as a result of her bold approach, she will be concerned in equal measure by the 50 unforced errors that pinged off her racquet.

Meanwhile Daria Gavrilova couldn't replicate the form that had seen her beat 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the first round, the Australian going down 7-5 6-2 to local hope Qiang Wang in their round of 16 clash.

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.

Puig had come from a bagel set down to defeat the Australian Open champion 0-6 6-4 6-4 in the second round at the Miami Open in March and the 24-year-old repeated the dose with a forehand victor to set up a clash against home favourite Wang Qiang, who defeated Daria Gavrilova in straight sets, in an all-unseeded battle.

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

Barty said she feels at home on the Wuhan centre court, even feeling it reminds her of Pat Rafter Arena.

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.

Ashleigh Barty is having another strong week in Wuhan.

Barty didn't allow Kerber any momentum as she denied the world number three the chance to narrow the gap on the top ranking held by Simona Halep, who lost her opening match.

Barty was beaten by Garcia in the Wuhan final past year and the Australian stayed in contention to go one better.

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