China’s Lin Zhu wins her first WTA title with 2023 Thai Open victory

6 February, 2023

Lin Zhu has been in tremendous form in 2023 and that success story continued as she defeated  Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko in the final of the 2023 Thailand Open in the seaside resort of Hua Hin on Sunday evening. In her first-ever WTA final, she came out on top and secured a straight set victory 6-4, 6-4 to take her first WTA crown.

In fact, Lin Zhu was the first Chinese player to make it past the quarter-final stage at the Thailand Open. Although the 28-year-old began the match on a struggling note, she quickly steadied herself before securing the win. 

Tsurenko, who was once ranked World No. 23, was competing in her first final in the last five years. However, she did not make it any easy for Lin Zhu who had to put in the hard yards to secure victory in the final.

The Ukrainian battled back from match point down near the end of the second set, unsettling Lin enough to force the younger player into committing a series of unenforced errors.

During the latter stages of the contest, Tsurenko was also visibly in discomfort on the court. She seemed to be battling swarms of mosquitoes invading the court and it constantly distracted her focus and attention.

This opened up an opportunity for Lin Zhu, who seized it and fought through a series of nail-biting rallies to get the job done.

Following the win, the Chinese tennis player was visibly emotional and she shared the moment with her fans and family and thanked them. “I would not be here without you guys,” said Lin as she thanked those present on the court after her first WTA title victory.

Meanwhile, Tsurenko was also gracious in defeat and ended up paying a tribute to her opponent who she called ‘amazing.’ 

“Days like this I hope you just have more and more, just play as amazing as you played today.”

Zhu has been making headlines in 2023. Last month, she reached the Auckland quarterfinals and the Australian Open fourth round and even registered wins over Maria Sakkari and Venus Williams. She even pushed former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka to three sets in the Melbourne last 16.