Two experienced campaigners, Lin Zhu and Lesia Tsurenko will square off in the finals of the 2023 Thailand Open on Sunday.
The 29-year-old has the chance to do the double as she has also reached the finals of the doubles event alongside compatriot Xinyu Wang. Lin Zhu had a fine Australian Open campaign as she made it to the fourth round of a Grand Slam competition for the first time in her career.
Zhu has managed to build on that performance as she has made it to the finals of a WTA singles event for the first time. With this run to the finals, the Chinese star is guaranteed to crack the top 50 after the tournament. In the four matches she has played so far in the Thailand Open, Zhu has just dropped one set and that came in the first match.
Zhu began with a hard-fought win against compatriot Xiyu Wang. The 3rd-seeded Wang managed to take the first set. However, Zhu came back strongly and outplayed her in the next two sets to win the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. In the round of 16, the 29-year-old Zhu managed to defeat Jang Su-jeong in two competitive sets 6-4, 7-6 (8-6). The quarterfinals saw Lin Zhu put on a sensational performance against an error-prone Tamara Zidansek. The match ended with a win in straight sets for Zhu and she was helped by Zidansek as well who committed 7 double faults. In the semifinals, Zhu faced her doubles partner and 7th seed Xinyu Wang. The veteran won the match 6-2, 6-4, converting 6 out of 9 break points.
The Ukrainian veteran suffered a jolt as she lost in the first round of the Australian Open after getting through three rounds of qualifying. She lost to Kaja Juvan in a one-sided encounter.
Tsurenko has bounced back commendably in the Thailand Open. She defeated three seeded players en route to the finals. She has managed to reach the finals of a WTA event for the first time since 2019 and is eying her 5th WTA title.
Tsurenko started with a win in three sets against Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure in the round of 32. The riveting encounter ended 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in favor of Tsurenko. She followed it up with another win in three sets against 4th seed Anna Kalinskaya. The Russian player struggled to hold her service games as Tsurenko converted 11 out of 15 break points. The match ended 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4. In the quarterfinals, Tsurenko played exceedingly well to route sixth seed Tatjana Maria in straight sets 6-1, 6-1. The former served well and had a win percentage of 71on the first serve and it increased to 83 on the second serve. In the semifinals, Tsurenko faced top seed Bianca Andreescu. The 2019 US Open champion wasn’t at her best and she also struggled with her right shoulder toward the latter stages of the first set. However, Tsurenko deserves a lot of credit for putting the pre-tournament favorite under a lot of pressure. In the end, Andreescu retired while trailing 5-7, 0-4.
Head-to-Head and Prediction
Lesia Tsurenko and Lin Zhu have been on the WTA circuit for many years but they have just faced each other once so far. In the 2019 Dubai Tennis Championships, Tsurenko defeated Zhu in three sets in the round of 32. Therefore, the head-to-head scoreline currently stands at 1-0 in favor of the Ukrainian star.
Prediction: Lin Zhu to win in three sets.
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