The season is starting to wind down but there are still a number of events to be contested, including the Hong Kong Tennis Open, where the final is coming up very shortly as home favourite Chinese sixth seed Wang Qiang and Dayan Yastremska from Ukraine, who is going for her first career title, face off. The odds for this match are reasonably tight but the in-form Qiang is the slight favourite to take her third career title.
The past couple of weeks from Wang Qiang has seen some of the best tennis of her career as she has continually stunned with big wins and deep runs. This incredible run of hers really started at the Asian Games where she got wins over Na-Lae Han, Ankita Raina and Shuai Zhang and did not drop a set throughout the whole event on the way to the gold medal. It was a tough draw at the US Open from Qiang as she did reach the third round before Elina Svitolina ended her run. The results started coming back when she returned to Asia with a good run at the Japan Women’s Open as she got a win over Magda Linette to reach the semifinals before eventual champion Hsieh Su-Wei got the better of her. Qiang put on an incredible display at the Guangzhou Open when she raced through the draw without dropping a set to take the title after a week that saw wins over Andrea Petkovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Yulia Putintseva. The good form continued the next week when she got a win over Karolina Pliskova at the Wuhan Open on the way to the semifinals, where she ultimately had to withdraw after dropping the opener to Anett Kontaveit. She managed to recover quickly for the next week as she made her deepest run at a Premier Mandatory at the China Open when she defeated Karolina Pliskova for the second week in a row to reach another semifinal, only to fall to eventual champion Caroline Wozniacki. To start this week, Qiang got routine wins over Ling Zhang, Christina McHale and top seed Elina Svitolina before really having to battle in the semifinals to move past fourth seed Garbine Muguruza.
This has been an average year for Dayana Yastremska but it is hard to gauge, considering she only started playing more WTA level events recently. The previous deep run at any event for Yastremska prior to this was all the way back in July at a Budapest ITF event on clay where she reached the semifinals. Yastremska did not play again until just before the US Open when she came through qualifying at the Connecticut Open before top seed Julia Goerges defeated her in the second round and she failed to back that up at the US Open, where Karolina Muchova defeated her in the first round. She stepped back a level prior to that to play a WTA 125k event in Chicago but she only managed to reach the quarterfinals. Her last two WTA events have not been the best as Christina McHale narrowly beat her in the first round of the Coupe Banque Nationale and then, after coming through qualifying, she lost in the opener round of the China Open to Saisai Zheng. So far this week, Yastremska has not dropped a set to get wins over Fanny Stollar, Saisai Zhang and Kristina Kucova before getting an especially big winner over Shuai Zhang in the semifinals.
Hong Kong Open Record
This has been a good event for Wang Qiang recently as she has only played the event three times and has an average result of the second round, but that is predominantly due to her first appearance. That came back in 2014 when Qiang fell in the first round of qualifying to Elizaveta Kulichkova but that has been much improved considering last year she got a win over Samantha Stosur on the way to the semifinals, where she lost to eventual champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Dayana Yastremska has never played at the Hong Kong Tennis Open, which is not surprising considering she is just nineteen.
Head to Head Record
Wang Qiang and Dayana Yastremska have never faced each other in a WTA tour level match before.
Predicted Scoreline: Wang Qiang defeats Dayana Yastremka 6-0, 0-6, 6-4