“I hope that on a day when I’m playing how I’d like, it’s a more straightforward match”.
To lift the trophy, though, Williams will have to beat the young, powerful talent of Muguruza, who contested the Wimbledon final with sister Serena.
With this win, Muguruza will crack the top five next Monday and is just a couple hundred points away from qualifying for the WTA Finals Singapore presented by South Carolina Global.
Konta made Williams work hard for the victory, becoming the first person to take a set off her at the Wuhan Open after losing the first. I just feel very fortunate that I got to share the court with her. I went on court to win and to do my best. “I felt so good!”
Konta, however, would not go down without a fight, and showed what has become her signature grit to force the match into a decider and twice lead by a break in the final set. “I always want to be in finals”, she said. Konta pulled off a brilliant drop shot on match point but it only delayed the killer blow from Williams, who breathed a huge sigh of relief upon sealing the win.
Konta looked like she might take the third set off Williams – breaking her serve to bring the score to 3-1 – and she kept the pressure on the American veteran right into the final game.
The 35-year-old former world No. 1’s reward for coming through the slug fest on the blue hardcourts of Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province is a clash with Italian Vinci, who knocked out Czech Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (2), 6-3. But if I think all the tournament (it) is okay.
“Against Nick it’s going to be tough”.
“There’s a few things I’d like to do better”.
Both players came into the tournament less than fully fit, with Williams, 35, struggling with a thigh problem.
Benjamin Becker moved into his first semi-final of the season, to meet Ferrer, after starting the week with a dismal 8-18 record.
Benjamin Becker upset fourth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6 (3) and will take on either top-seeded David Ferrer or Mikhail Kukushkin in the other semifinal Saturday.