Palermo Ladies Open: Qinwen Zheng denies Jasmine Paolini; lifts maiden WTA crown!

This is the second straight year that an Italian finished as the runner-up in the longstanding Italian event

by Abbey Johnson
Palermo Ladies Open: Qinwen Zheng denies Jasmine Paolini; lifts maiden WTA crown!

Qinwen Zheng’s the 2023 Palermo Ladies Open champion. The Chinese, who was the second-highest seed this week behind Daria Kasatkina’s no. 1 seed, won against Jasmine Paolini. Zheng needed three sets and two hours and 14 minutes to claim a 6-4, 1-6, 6-1 win against the Italian, who’d upset Kasatkina in the quarter-final.

Paolini put in 80% of her first serves to Zheng’s 46%. But Zheng won more first-serve points. Of the 39 points played on her first serve, Zheng won 26. Paolini played 58 first-serve points but could win only 35 of these.

Zheng also won eight of the 14 points played on return on Paolini’s second serve while winning 24 of the 45 points played on her second serve. Both players combined to generate 15 break points. Of the eight break points Zheng faced, she saved five while converting four break points on Paolini’s serve.

In the final set, Zheng didn’t face any break point. In the seventh game of the last set, while serving for the match, Zheng was unable to make good of the first two match points she had. However, she did well to convert the third and thwarted any possibility of her opponent making a comeback in the match.

Palermo Ladies Open: Qinwen Zheng's title cabinet sees first addition

An elated Zheng shared after her win, “I won my first WTA match here and also my first WTA title but you probably don't know that I won my first ITF championship in Italy.

This is really special for me. This is my first WTA 250 championship. I will remember that”. Almost three years ago, in August 2020, Zheng had won the ITF 15k tournament in Cordenons, Italy with a win over Austrian Mira Antonitsch.

Meanwhile, the Palermo Ladies Open was the second time Qinwen Zheng had advanced to a WTA Final. After this win, the 20-year-old’s gained two places in the WTA rankings and is now ranked 24th in the world. Jasmine Paolini gained five places and is now ranked 47th. Photo Credit: Palermo Ladies Open Twitter

Palermo Ladies Open Qinwen Zheng Jasmine Paolini