WTA Wuhan: Alison Riske downs Elina Svitolina. Petra Kvitova marches on


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WTA Wuhan: Alison Riske downs Elina Svitolina. Petra Kvitova marches on

Wimbledon quarter-finalist Alison Riske is through to the third and the biggest semi-final on the WTA Tour in 2019, defeating the 3rd seed Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-3 in an hour and 24 minutes. It was the first win for Riske over Elina in four encounters, fending off four out of five break chances to limit the damage in her games and stealing more than half of the return points to control the pace and convert five out of 13 break opportunities for the place in the last four.

The opening game saw nine deuces and six break points for Alison who managed to convert the last one with a volley winner at the net for an early advantage, confirming the break after a forehand error from the Ukrainian in game two and earning another break that pushed her 3-0 up.

Elina never found the rhythm in the opening set, suffering another break in game seven to hand the set to Riske who had to work harder in set number two after Svitolina broke her in the third game. The 3rd seed stayed in front only for a couple of minutes, spraying a forehand error to give serve away in the fourth game and wasting two opportunities on the return that could have sent her 3-2 up.

Elina couldn't convert her chances and Riske was there to punish her in the next game, forcing an error to grab a break and move 4-2 ahead. Serving for the victory, Alison crossed the finish line in the ninth game when Elina sent a forehand long, setting the semi-final clash with Petra Kvitova.

The Czech is through to the first semi-final since April and Stuttgart, ousting the young Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 12 minutes, facing each other for the first time on the Tour. The more experienced player had the upper hand, saving two out of three break chances and earning four breaks from eight opportunities to sail through in straight sets.

A left-hander broke in the opening game of the match with a deep return, cementing the break in game two and opening a 4-1 lead with another great return that Dayana failed to control. Petra closed the opener with an ace in game eight and forged an early advantage in the second set with breaks in games one and three, getting broken in the middle game but still standing in front.

The Czech held at 30 in the last four service games, sealing the deal with a service winner in the tenth game to join Barty, Riske and Sabalenka in the final four.