China’s Xiyu Wang made it to her first-ever WTA Tour final in style, at home, at the Guangzhou Open. On Friday, Wang upset seventh seed Greet Minnen in their semi-final, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that lasted 89 minutes. Although Wang hit five double faults in the match, it didn’t hinder her much during the proceedings.
The 22-year-old put 40 of her first-serve points in of which she won 28. Minnen won 19 of the 29 first-serve points she put in. Wang also had considerable success in exploiting her opponent’s second serve. Of the 23 points played on the Belgian’s second serve, Wang won 14.
On the 25 points played on her second serve, Wang won just over 50%, or rather, 13 points. Wang’s serve was also the one that came under tremendous pressure. She faced 10 break points to her rival’s seven. But where she converted four of these seven break points, she also saved eight break points that were generated on her serve.
Across each set, she dropped her serve once although she didn’t waste time recovering lost ground to complete the day in straight sets.
Guangzhou Open: Magda Linette's first title-round encounter in 2023
In the final, Wang will take on Magda Linette.
The highest-seeded player in the draw wrapped up a straight-sets win over Yulia Putintseva in their semi-final. The Pole needed 76 minutes for a 6-2, 6-3 win. The Kazakh was quite good when it came to putting her first serves in.
However, Linette was quite effective in winning points off her first serve. She won 76% of her first-serve points to Putintseva’s 62%. She also won 73% of her second-serve points and 70% points on return on Putintseva’s second serve.
In the first set, Putintseva couldn’t find any way to even raise a break point on Linette’s serve let alone breach it. She, however, brought up three break points in the second set but her rival convincingly saved the lot.
Linette created six break point opportunities for herself on Putintseva’s serve and converted three of these. The Guangzhou Open final’s the first final in a year for the 31-year-old. In 2022, Linette reached the Chennai Open final in September (lost to Linda Fruhvirtova).
Against Xiyu Wang, who’s looking to claim her debut WTA crown, Magda Linette will be trying to win her third career crown.
• Jiangxi Open: Beatriz Haddad Maia, Magda Linette ousted in openers, without much ado• China Open: Magda Linette scores a bracing win over world no. 17, Victoria Azarenka• Guangzhou Open: Imperious Xiyu Wang stuns Magda Linette for maiden trophy!• Guangzhou Open: Xiyu Wang holds nerves at bay to make it to last-eight!• Guangzhou Open: Xiyu Wang holds up the fort as other locals fade; seeds march on• Japan Open: Lin Zhu wins derby against Xiyu Wang to enter pre-quarters!