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Thailand Open: Zhu lifts maiden trophy in maiden final

Lin Zhu lifted the trophy on Sunday against Lesia Tsurenko

Thailand Open •Final • completed
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Chinese Lin Zhu won the Thailand Open tournament by beating Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-4 at the True Arena Hua Hin on Sunday.

“I’m super happy to win my first title here in Hua Hin,” said Zhu afterwards. “The trophy is just so beautiful, the first one is always difficult and Lesia, she’s a fighter, she never gives up so I needed to give my 100% and I need to be more patient especially towards the end. I feel a little bit nervous but I know it’s normal so I have to handle that, I have to attack when I have a chance because she’s not gonna give this match to me and I’m super happy I did it.”

She added: “At the beginning of this year my goal for me and my team was to break the top 50 and win a WTA title and now it’s only February I already did it! So maybe I have to talk with my team to adjust for the rest of the season.”

Tsurenko had defeated higher-ranked players en route to the final, albeit with the withdrawal of former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in the second set of their semi-final reducing her time on court. All of her opponents are currently ranked in the top 100: Tsurenko, ranked No 136, beat Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure (6-3, 4-6, 6-4), Russian Anna Kalinskaya, the No 4 seed (6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-4), German Tatjana Maria, the No 6 seed (6-1, 6-1) and Canadian Andreescu, the top seed (7-5, 4-0 ret.).

On the other hand, only four of Zhu’s were – including her doubles partner Wang Xinyu, who she beat in a comprehensive semi-final win, 6-2, 6-4. The world No 54 also defeated No 3 seed Xiyu Wang (4-6, 6-3, 6-0), Su Jeong Jang (6-4, 7-6 (6)), Slovenian Tamara Zidansek (6-2, 6-2) and No 7 seed Xinyu Wang (6-2, 6-4) in the previous rounds.

Nonetheless, it was Zhu who took her maiden title in her maiden WTA final, with her tenth match win of the season thus far.

She now pairs up with Wang again for the doubles as she attempts to complete a clean sweep – the last player to do that was the impressive Beatriz Haddad Maia at Nottingham last year.

Surprisingly, for players on the tour for over a decade each, they had only met once before, on the hard court of Dubai in 2019, when Tsurenko took a three-set, second-round win 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 in two hours and 29 minutes.

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