TennisSection previews the 2023 Hua Hin Open as Xinyu Wang takes on Heather Watson in the quarterfinal on Friday, February 3, 2023.
Heather Watson is into her first WTA quarterfinal since Birmingham in 2021. But her odds-defying run could come to an end when she takes on China’s rising star Xinyu Wang in the Hua Hin quarterfinals. Will Watson prevail?
Xinyu Wang continues to add gloriously to her reputation at this week’s Hua Hin Open, reaching her second quarterfinal of 2023 in dominant fashion. The 21-year-old Chinese brushed aside Sweden’s Mirjam Bjorklund 6-3 6-3 in an hour and 26 minutes. Wang’s was almost impregnable. She won slightly above 70% of points behind both her first and second serves and was broken just once.
Heather Watson, for her part, has faced much sterner tests this week. First, the Briton upset second seed Yulia Putintseva in the first round, coming from a set down to win in three chaotic sets. She took precisely three hours to do so. It was an emotional win for Watson who hadn’t tasted victory at Tour level since last year’s Wimbledon. And she backed up that result with another rollercoaster three-setter against Han Na-lae to advance into her first quarterfinal since 2021.
Xinyu Wang and Heather Watson have not played each other on the WTA Tour. Friday’s quarterfinal meeting at the Hua Hin Open will be their first official meeting. Watson has turned back the clock this week, scoring a major upset over Putintseva in her run to the last eight. But she hasn’t been hitting with more regulation which is where Wang could pounce. The Chinese is a player on the rise and is steadily living up to the hype.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Xinyu Wang in 2 sets
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