Four players remain at the 2024 WTA Thailand Open in Hua Hin, featuring three of the top players from China and a rising star from Russia. Defending champion Lin Zhu is still in the hunt for a second WTA title, looking to keep her spot in the WTA Top 50. Who will reach the final?
WTA Hua Hin Semifinal Predictions
Diana Shnaider vs Xinyu Wang
Head-to-head: First meeting
This is the pair’s first meeting, with both young players looking for a first WTA title. Shnaider has seemed to play her best tennis in Asia, reaching the finals of the WTA 250 in China last fall. Yet, her ranking hasn’t made a sizable increase, as she sits just outside the Top 100. Shnaider benefited from Paula Badosa’s retirement in the second round, but she’s looked as damaging as ever this week ever since her upset of top-seed Magda Linette in the first round.
Meanwhile, Wang was seeded for the first time at the Australian Open, but could not capitalize as she lost in the first round. As the No. 3 seed in this event, she struggled to hold her serve against Yulia Puntiseva in the quarterfinals but came from a break down in the third set to win. While Wang is the favorite on paper, Shnaider has a ruthless offensive game that can break down an opponent struggling on serve. As Wang is yet to reach even a WTA final, she’ll likely be facing some nerves on the court. Going for the upset on this one.
Prediction: Shnaider in 3
Yafan Wang vs Lin Zhu
Head-to-head: Wang 4-3
Wang survived a late-night thriller in her Friday quarterfinal against Katie Volynets, but now has to go up against defending champion Lin Zhu. The two will surely be aware of each other’s games — they are ranked at similar spots and have even played doubles together on multiple occasions. After Zhu was unable to defend fourth-round points from the Australian Open, she’s come back with a vengeance this week. As she’s yet to drop a set in Thailand, she’ll be confident going into this matchup.
For Wang, this marks her first WTA Tour-level semifinal since 2019. It’s certainly possible for Wang to pick up the win if she controls her shots, but Zhu may have too much experience being on this court in Hua Hin. Despite the rivalry between the pair, this is only their second career meeting at WTA tour-level. Wang won the first meeting 6-2 6-2 in 2018.
Prediction: Zhu in 3
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports