TennisSection previews the 2023 Hua Hin Open as Bianca Andreescu takes on Marta Kostyuk in the quarterfinal on Friday, February 3, 2023.
When the draw at the Hua Hin Open came out, this was the projected quarterfinal we all envisaged. Thankfully, both players have held their inch to get here. But will it be Bianca Andreescu who reaches the final four? Or will Marta Kostyuk have a surprise on her sleeve?
Bianca Andreescu has redeemed herself in Hua Hin. The alarm bells were out in force and in high decibels following her catastrophic collapse in the second round of the Australian Open. But this tournament was the kind of tonic she needed to get in her groove. A low-key 250, with very few expectations, she has almost snuck under everyone’s radar this week. But she has produced two excellent wins, first against the dangerous Harriet Dart and then Russia’s Anastasia Zakharova, both in straight sets.
Marta Kostyuk, meanwhile, arrived in Thailand pretty late thanks to her deep run in doubles at the Australian Open alongside Elena-Gabriela Ruse. Perhaps that played a part in Kostyuk’s hard-fought win over Liang En-shuo in the first round. Kostyuk then needed to overcome a mid-match blip in the second round to ease past Nao Hibino 6-3 7-6.
Bianca Andreescu and Marta Kostyuk have not played each other on the WTA Tour. Friday’s match at the Hua Hin Open will be their first official meeting. February will be a busy schedule for Andreescu who took a late wild card for this tournament and is due to play in the Middle East. But that was largely fuelled by her surprise exit at the Australian Open. She’s been playing like a player looking to prove a point this week, and even hitting the practice courts straight after winning her second-round match. Kostyuk is clearly there for the taking, hardly looking as efficient as during the Australian summer. Expect the top seed to cruise.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Bianca Andreescu in 2 sets
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