Top seed Ashleigh Barty will play Naomi Osaka in the China Open final on Sunday after she saved a match point on her way to a thrilling semi-final win over Kiki Bertens on Saturday.
Barty eventually edged a three-set contest in a deciding tiebreak, having earlier broke Bertens when she was serving for the match. Osaka beat Wozniacki in two sets later in the day, setting up the finals clash.
Dominic Thiem was the first into the men's final, as he came from behind to beat Karen Khachanov. Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Alex Zverev later in the day to join him.
Saturday Schedule and Results
(8) KikI Bertens bt. (1) Ashleigh Barty: 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7)
(4) Naomi Osaka bt. (16) Caroline Wozniacki: 6-4, 6-2
(1) Dominic Thiem bt. (4) Karen Khachanov: 2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5
(3) Stefanos Tsitsipas bt. (2) Alex Zverev: 7-6 (8), 6-4
The two finals will be played on Sunday, with the women's final up first. The full playing schedule can be found here.
The first match of the day set a positive tone in Beijing, as Barty and Bertens left it all on court over the course of three sets.
Barty flew out of the traps to win the first three games of the opener, giving her a platform to push on and clinch the set. However, Bertens responded with gusto, as she strung together a three-game sequence at the start of the second, serving brilliantly to level the match up.
After both players picked up breaks of serve at the start of a nervy decider, they settled down into some attritional points:
Bertens was then able to strike in the fifth game, breaking to nudge ahead and then consolidating to go 4-2 in front. At 5-4, she had the chance to serve for the match, but Barty showed why she's the top seed, digging in to break her opponent and keep her chances alive.
Both players kept their nerve and held serve to send the match to a deciding tiebreak. Unsurprisingly, that was also a tight and dramatic tussle.
Barty and Bertens both let match points slip by before the Australian was able to carve out another and eventually secure what will be one her most satisfying wins of a memorable season.
Afterwards, Barty's analysis was succinct:
In the first of the men's semi-finals, Khachanov was able to take the game to Thiem, winning the opening three games to put the top seed on the back foot. From there, he coasted to a 6-2 set win.
Khachanov carried that momentum into the second set, and at 5-3, he had the chance to serve for the match. Thiem clung on, though, breaking back and forcing a tiebreak, in which he was able to take the match into a decider.
At the climax of a close third set, Thiem looked the more composed of the two players and was able to play delicate shots like this:
With that in mind, it was no surprise to see him step up with the end in sight. With a 6-5 lead, the top seed pounced on some indecision from his opponent and notched a spot in Sunday's showpiece.
In comparison, the late action was more one-sided. Osaka used her power and advantage from the base line to blast her way past Wozniacki, losing just six games in the process.
Wozniacki had her chances, but her nerves failed her in crucial moments:
Osaka will have to improve her efficiency in the final, as Barty is a far better return player than Wozniacki and could make her pay for her issues on serve.
There was no shortage of drama in the second men's semi-final, even if Tsitsipas needed just two sets to beat Zverev. Both young talents brought plenty of emotion to the court, per tennis writer Tumaini Carayol:
Tsitsipas will be playing in his fifth final of 2019, in what has been a true breakout year for the 21-year-old Greek.