The opening two days of WTA Hua Hin created a lot of drama. This included 2023 Australian Open semifinalist Magda Linette being knocked out on the opening day. There are four Round of 16 matches set to take place on Day 3, with former French Open quarterfinalist Paula Badosa one of those featuring. Which players do you think will prevail to reach the quarterfinals in Thailand?
WTA Hua Hin Day 3 Predictions
Dalma Galfi vs Wang Xiyu
Head-to-head: Wang 2-0 Galfi
Both players were extremely impressive in the opening round. Wang dropped just two games in a 6-1 6-1 demolition of her compatriot Wang Qiang. The ease of Galfi’s victory was a much bigger surprise. She defeated former Wimbledon semifinalist Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3 6-0, with a performance that made a mockery of her current ranking outside the Top 100. Another upset for Galfi is not impossible if she performs as she did in the previous round. However, I am still backing Wang. The Chinese player struck the ball superbly in her last match, and is unlikely to give Galfi as much time on her groundstrokes as Tomljanovic did. That could make an important difference.
Prediction: Wang in 2
Wang Xinyu vs Nao Hibino
Head-to-head: First meeting
Hibino played very well in her straight sets first-round win over Kamilla Rakhimova. There were flashes of what she is capable of in the first set of her Australian Open clash with last year’s Guadalajara winner Maria Sakkari, but she was rewarded with a victory this on this occasion.Wang benefited from a retirement in the opening round. Hence, she will be fresh, but could be lacking a little in match sharpness. Hibino is capable of soaking up the pressure of Wang, and prefers to have pace to redirect. Overall, I will still back the class of Wang to prevail, but this could be a tricky match for the third seed to navigate.
Prediction: Wang in 3
Viktorija Golubic vs Yulia Putinsteva
Head-to-head: Golubic 1-0 Putinsteva
This is an intriguing battle between two former Grand Slam quarterfinalists. Golubic was clinical against the Brazillian Laura Pigossi and only lost three games on her way to this stage. By contrast, Putinsteva toiled a lot more to defeat world No. 406 Theasporn Naklo in three sets, Putinsteva will need to play a lot better to have a chance, but I am giving the edge to Golubic. The Swiss looking more impressive in her last match is part of the reason, but she also has had an extra’s day rest compared to Putinsteva, and she also won their only previous meeting. All of those factors together make me believe a Golubic triumph is the most likely outcome.
Prediction: Golubic in 2
Paula Badosa vs Diana Shnaider
Head-to-head: Badosa 1-0 Shnaider
Shnaider will be very confident heading into this match The 19-year-old took out the top seed in Hua Hin Magda Linette in the opening round with a very strong display. Linette is a very solid player without huge weapons from the baseline, but Badosa presents a different challenge. Her very powerful serve and big groundstrokes mean there are likely to be a lot of winners in this contest. My instinct is that Shnaider will manage another upset. Badosa is still early into her comeback from injury, and she also struggled more than expected in the last round against wildcard Lanlana Tararudee. Shnaider’s aggressive style to overcome Badosa in Thailand.
Prediction: Shnaider in 3
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports