SHENZHEN, China, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Fifth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova ousted fourth seed and home favorite Wang Qiang 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 here on Thursday, setting up a semifinal clash with Garbine Muguruza in WTA Shenzhen open.
"It wasn't easy. Wang played extremely well from the first point," Alexandrova said.
Wang, the only Chinese player left standing in the singles, raced to a 4-1 advantage early in the match. Alexandrova's double-fault handed over the first set win to her opponent.
Wang continued her momentum and broke Alexandrova early in the second set, building a 2-0 lead. However, the Russian found her rhythm to win four straight games and took a 4-2 advantage before converting her fourth set point to pull the match into the decider.
The Russian railed to a 5-2 lead in the last set, before dropping her serve-to-win game after holding a match point. But Alexandrova kept her composure to settle the victory with a return winner.
"The third set was extremely tough because she was everywhere. It was hard to play because every ball was coming back to me," Alexandrova said.
"I was luckier on a few points in the third set, and I think that decided the game," she added.
The Russian will face sixth seed and former No.1 Garbine Muguruza, who overcame Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
In other matches, Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan edged Belgian Elise Mertens 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, setting up an encounter with Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic who beat Ukrainian Kateryna Bodarenko 6-4, 6-4.