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Marvellous Martic makes Zhengzhou final over Mladenovic

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Stretched to four deuces and under pressure from the Mladenovic forehand and volleys, Martic showed signs of wobbling for the only time in the contest as her own forehand lost its consistency. Continuing to boldly strike out, though, the Roland Garros quarterfinalist would extricate herself from trouble without having to face a break point, holding with a booming forehand winner and an unreturnable serve.

Having once again failed to take a crucial opportunity, Mladenovic’s resistance crumbled thereafter. A volley error was followed by a smash into the net that draw gasps, paving the way to the first break of the set as the former World No.10’s forehand collapsed. A game later, Martic would serve out the win with a minimum of drama, sealing victory – and a date with No.1 seed Karolina Pliskova in the final – with her third ace of the day.

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