Garcia's epic triumph keeps WTA Finals hopes alive
Caroline Garcia secured a vital victory in an epic China Open encounter withÂ Elina Svitolina to keep alive her dream of reaching the end-of-season WTA Finals.
Defeat for the Frenchwoman would have handed the out-of-form Johanna Konta a spot in Singapore, but Garcia fought back from match point down to claim a 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 7-6 (8-6) quarter-final triumph.
She will meet Petra Kvitova in the last four, with the other semi-final seeing Jelena Ostapenko take on Simona Halep in a rematch of this year's French Open final.
GARCIA DIGS DEEP
In a must-win match for the unseeded Garcia, she achieved her goal the hard way in a contest that lasted three hours and 21 minutes.
Svitolina, seeded third and needing a tournament win to scale the summit of the rankings, twice served for the honours only to beÂ broken by her determined opponent.Â
The Ukrainian also led 6-5 in the decisive tie-break, but lost three points in a row as Garcia celebrated a dramatic success in a clash that involved a remarkable 19 breaks of serve.
Kvitova enjoyed a far more routine outing as she wrapped up a 6-3 6-4 win over Barbora Strycova.
It will be Kvitova's third semi-final at the event after she extended her winning run against fellow Czechs to 24 matches.
HALEP SERVES UP KASATKINA REVENGEÂ
Halep suffered a 6-2 6-1 defeatÂ to Daria Kasatkina when they met in Wuhan last month and Friday's meeting produced the same scoreline, but with the roles reversed.
The Romanian, who is also eyeing the number one ranking,Â needed just over an hour to see off her 20-year-old rival, firing off 19 winners to complete the victory in style.
"I think I played much better than Wuhan," said Halep.
"I changed the tactic and worked pretty well. I did just my game and my style, and I was very consistent and solid as well."
OSTAPENKO PREVAILS IN BATTLE OF THE BREAKS
Ostapenko is Halep's last-four opponent after the French Open champion got the better of doubles partner Sorana Cirstea in another match littered with breaks.
Only three games went on serve in the first set and Ostapenko emergedÂ from the madness with a 6-4 6-4 success, having broken six times and dropped serve four times.
Looking ahead to the challenge of taking on world number two Halep, the Latvian said:Â "She's a great player. If I play my best and I stay aggressiveÂ and I am consistent, I think everything can happen."