Wickmayer masters Cornet in Guangzhou

Getty Images

Yanina Wickmayer beat sixth seed Alize Cornet in the Guangzhou Open to reach her first semi-final of the year and Zhang Shuai remains in the hunt for a tournament victory in her homeland.

Wickmayer shocked top seed Peng Shuai in the second round and Cornet also suffered defeat at the hands of the world number 116.

The Belgian, hampered by injuries in a disappointing 2017, won 6-1 7-6 (7-5) to set up a last-four meeting with Aleksandra Krunic.

Wickmayer stormed into a 4-0 lead and there was no way back for Cornet in the first set. 

Cornet also lost the first two games of the second, but won the next three to lead for the first time in the match. The Nice-born 27-year-old was unable to serve out a set which swung one way and the other, paying the price when she lost a tie-break.

Zhang wasted little time in beating Kateryna Kozlova 6-1 6-1 in a one-sided quarter-final.

Kozlova was on a high after claiming the biggest title of her career at the Dalian Open, but a fired-up Zhang abruptly ended any hopes of the Ukrainian winning back-to-back tournaments.

Evgeniya Rodina stands in the way of Zhang and a place in the final after the Russian defeated Lizette Cabrera 6-1 7-6 (7-4), while Krunic beat Rebecca Peterson 6-1 6-1.