However, Wang, who grabbed headlines at the French Open this year with her straight-sets demolition of Venus Williams, said she is growing in confidence after a successful year, and playing in front of home crowds has helped boost her game.
Including qualifying rounds, the Puerto Rican has now won 14 of her last 17 matches.
The second was not even much of a contest, with Barty firing two aces during the 30-minute affair and converting both of her break points to run up a comfortable lead that Kerber was unable to assail. I feel like I'm a top-20 player.
"I've really been waiting for our next one".
The 26-year-old Wang was on the back-foot from the start in her semi-final, but at 5-2 down in the first set she needed to take a medical time-out during which more strapping was applied to her thigh. She will next face Aryna Sabalenka, who defeated 2016 runner-up Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-3.
Roared on by adoring home fans, Wang - top-ranked in China - had already made history by becoming the first local player to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament with an impressive march to the last four that included an upset of world number seven Karolina Pliskova.
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"It's been an exciting week, and I was lucky to get out of that match", Barty said on court after the match. "I missed a lot of key points in the match", Puig said.
The 22-year-old Queenslander took advantage of a loose last game from Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, ranked No.39, and won their quarter-final 6-2 5-7 6-4. On Wednesday it was the turn of Puig to send more shock waves through the field of the Wuhan Open as she knocked-out the world number two, Wozniacki.
In the doubles, Shuko Aoyama and Lidziya Marozava beat Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 7-5.
In other action, China's Zhang Shuai fell to Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.