Ashlyn Krueger won the 2023 Japan Open crown in Osaka on Sunday. The American bested the highest-seeded player in the draw, Lin Zhu in the title clash in an hour and 36 minutes. Krueger won 6-3, 7-6(6) finishing off her week in style, by conceding no sets from the first round until the finale.
Zhu, who was playing the second final of her career – both of which have come this year – wasn’t playing badly. Krueger’s game though was much more potent than her higher-ranked opponent. Only two break points were generated throughout the match and both of these came on the Chinese player’s serve, in the opening set.
The break point Zhu failed to save in the set ended up securing Krueger’s lead in the match. The second set remained on serve from its opening game until the 12th, eventually leading into the tie-break. In the tie-break, Zhu did raise a set point for herself but Krueger didn’t have any problems in fending it off.
After levelling the tie-break to six-all, the world no. 123 raised her first match point for 7-6 and went on to convert it to take home the title.
Japan Open: The first of many for Ashlyn Krueger
The world no. 35 won 28 of 40 points played on her first serve.
Krueger won 31 of 39 points played on her first serve. Zhu won 61% of her second-serve points while her opponent scored better yet again, winning 68% of her second-serve points. Krueger also had more than twice as many winners as her rival – 28 to the latter’s 13.
Zhu was also let down by the 16 unforced errors she had in the match. After winning the Japan Open title, Ashlyn Krueger’s become the 10th woman to lift her maiden WTA trophy this year. This winning run will also see the 19-year-old make her debut in the top-100 of the WTA singles rankings on Monday, 18th September. Krueger will be ranked 73rd in the world.
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