The 2017 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open in China is days away from picking this year's winner. The women's singles contest saw a lot of top-seeded players being knocked down early in the tournament, so opportunities went to the less-known WTA players. The former world No. 1, Karolina Pliskova, is the latest victim on Chinese soil as she didn't survive the challenge called Ashleigh Barty from Australia. The 21-year-old Aussie is into the semis of this Premier 5 event while scoring her first WTA top 5 win of her career. Currently ranked fourth in the world, the 25-year-old Czech star Pliskova, entered the event hoping to close the gap on the world No.

1 slot. But, as it turned out, her bid is over, allowing Garbine Muguruza to get even more comfortable at the top.

Ashleigh Barty completes a tremendous comeback to top Pliskova

Ranked 37th in the world before the tournament, Barty will soar up the rankings pretty quick. Reaching the semis will boost her slot up to the 26th in the world. If she goes all the way, she will break into the top 20 for the first time. Against a powerful player like Pliskova, she had to keep her standards pretty high. Losing the opening set by a slight margin 6-4 didn't help her cause. The second set went down to a tie-break where Pliskova hesitated twice on her serve, allowing Barty to put her feet into the match. Converting the third set point, the Aussie player kept the momentum on her side, while the frustration started to mount on her opponent's shoulders.

The third set saw Barty gaining an early break which she further consolidated. Once Pliskova settled down for the game, things started to shift, with the Czech player increasing the level of aggression while returning Barty's serve. The rebreak came as a natural follow-up. Another break from Barty put her in a position to serve out the match at 5-4 in her favor.

Unexpectedly, she wasted three match points in a row on her own serve, and Pliskova was back in the game. Another tie-break came in to decide the match and once again Barty was the one able to collect. It was a stunning performance by the young WTA tennis star, who will face either Jelena Ostapenko or Garbine Muguruza next.

Pliskova being out brings a calm end of the week

At the top of the ranking, the margins are thin, and each match can produce some changes to the ranking. Losing in the quarterfinals in Wuhan, Karolina Pliskova will remain in the fourth spot. Moreover, the top three won't suffer any change when the ranking gets updated on Monday. Elina Svitolina will stand in the third place, just five points behind Simona Halep, the second occupant. The current world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza will remain at the summit but the upcoming Premier Mandatory event in Beijing could disrupt this fragile order.

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