In what promises to be a thrilling final, Zhang Shuai of China will take on Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska for the 2022 WTA Lyon Open title. Both players will have high hopes of claiming the title and both will believe that they have what it takes to get across the line. As always, we here at LWOT will be offering our prediction for the final, but who will come out on top?
WTA Lyon Final Prediction
Zhang Shuai vs Dayana Yastremska
Head-to-head: Zhang 1-1 Yastremska
Yastremska was given a wildcard to this event after fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But despite the obvious emotional toll that has taken on her, or perhaps because of it, she has played some superb tennis this week. She opened her campaign with a hard-fought 3-6 7-6 7-6 win over Ana Bogdan – which she described as one of the toughest of her career – before beating Cristina Bucsa in rather more straightforward fashion 6-2 6-3.
That set up a quarterfinal clash with Jasmine Paolini. She played the Italian three times in 2021 and lost all three matches. But she avenged those defeats with an excellent 6-4 7-6 win to reach her first semifinal of their season. Waiting for her was the second seed Sorana Cirstea. It turned into another marathon battle, but Yastremska held her nerve to score a 7-6 4-6 6-4 win, despite being broken when serving for the match late in the third set.
Zhang’s path to the final has been simpler. The Chinese started her week with a 7-6 7-5 win over Kristina Mladenovic and that is as close as she has come to defeat so far at the WTA Lyon Open. In the second round, she beat Arantxa Rus 6-4 6-4 before Vitalia Diatchenko retired with an injury just three games into their quarterfinal. Zhang then delivered a composed performance to get the better of Caroline Garcia, winning 6-2 7-5, in the semifinals.
This pair have met twice, with Yastremska winning in the semifinals in Hong Kong in 2018 before Zhang edged her out in the fourth round at Wimbledon a year later. Both matches were closely contested and there doesn’t look to be a great deal between them on paper. But it is not clear how much Yastremska has left in the tank after what must have been a very emotionally draining week. She will not want to give this one away, but expect Zhang to have just about too much for her.
Prediction: Zhang in 3
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