Ningbo Open: Ons Jabeur sets finale against fiery debutant, Diana Shnaider

After a noteworthy start to the year, Shnaider finally got to a first-ever WTA title round

by Abbey Johnson
Ningbo Open: Ons Jabeur sets finale against fiery debutant, Diana Shnaider
© Hector Vivas/ Getty Images

The final of the 2023 edition of the Ningbo Open will be played between Ons Jabeur and Diana Shnaider. On Friday, Jabeur, the top-seeded player in the singles draw, and Shnaider made their way past their respective semi-final match-ups.

In the first semi-final, the 19-year-old Shnaider beat her 18-year-old rival, Linda Fruhvirtova in straight sets. The world no. 85 needed an hour and 40 minutes to grab a 6-4, 6-1 win. Going into the final, it was Fruhvirtova who was more experienced, relatively, than her opponent when it came to playing these stages of a tournament.

In 2022, Fruhvirtova had won the maiden WTA trophy of her career at the Chennai Open. However, in China, Shnaider showed no nerves and went for her game, without any hesitation. Both players had three aces each but Fruhvirtova had two more double faults than her older-by-a-year rival’s three.

Fruhvirtova and Shnaider won around 39% of their second-serve points but the latter was quite convincing off her first serve. Of the 32 points played on her first serve, Shnaider won 23. Fruhvirtova also won 23 of her first-serve points but it came off the 44 points she put in.

Shnaider created 14 break point chances for herself on Fruhvirtova’s serve and converted six of these. She also failed to save two of the three break points she faced. This will be the first time Shnaider’s made it to the title round of a WTA event.

Ningbo Open: Ons Jabeur braves past Nadia Podoroska test

Meanwhile, in her semi-final, the 29-year-old Jabeur’s clash against Nadia Podoroska went the distance before she could claim a 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 win after an hour and 51 minutes.

Jabeur faced four break points of which she could save only one. All four break points came about in the first two sets. The two-time Wimbledon finalist also converted four of 10 break point chances she had on the Argentinian’s serve.

The Ningbo Open final’s the 13th of Ons Jabeur’s career and she’s looking to add a fifth title to the four she’s already won.

Ons Jabeur Diana Shnaider