This week’s WTA event in Ningbo provided a lot of excitement and high quality tennis and it promises to feature a very intriguing final as well. Ons Jabeur is the #1 seed and had a relatively comfortable path to the final despite dropping a couple of sets, while 19-year-old Diana Shnaider had an incredible and highly unexpected run to her first Tour-level final, upsetting #2 seed Petra Kvitova in the process. This gap in age and experience should make for a fascinating final here to cap off a great week of tennis.
WTA Ningbo Final Prediction
Ons Jabeur vs Diana Shnaider
Head-to-head: first meeting
It’s a battle between youth and experience. Jabeur is a very well established top player, who’s been to three Grand Slam finals and heartbreakingly lost them all. She’s one of the world’s best players and always a contender for the biggest titles. Meanwhile, Shnaider is having her breakthrough run this week, playing some incredible tennis and getting some amazing wins, even over Petra Kvitova.
Players tend to be overwhelmed in their first big final against a top player, but Jabeur herself is hardly a reliable performer in finals (4-8 overall) so Shnaider will be in with a chance if she can replicate the level she has shown so far this week. Her semifinal match was relatively straightforward and she hasn’t spent that much time on court overall during the tournament so physically she should be fresh and capable of showing her best tennis.
A win would see Shnaider jump all the way up to #54 in the WTA rankings, along with a first career title, but all things considered you would have to favor Jabeur here; she’s the more seasoned player and at this point in their respective careers she should be able to overwhelm Shnaider or at least be able to come through in the pressure moments against her young opponent.
Prediction: Jabeur in 3
Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports