Hua Hin | Linette upset as Badosa battles

The WTA 250 Thailand Open saw its top seed, Magda Linette, fall in her opener against Diana Shnaider, while Paula Badosa had to go the distance to see off a challenge by another 19-year-old, local wild-card Lanlana Tararudee.

Her level surprised me. I think she has a great future. Credits to her, she played well. I had to stay there, I had to wait for my moment. Paula Badosa

Shnaider posted her first victory of 2024 in some style, upsetting Linette, 6-4 1-6 6-1, with the 19-year-old’s forehand on the run on song as she took out the 2020 champion, and she will next face Badosa.

The Spaniard escaped Tararudee after a hard-fought contest, 3-6 6-4 6-1, in an hour and 57 minutes.

The Thai teenager, who was playing her second tour-level match, made a fast start, impressing with her backhand and net play in particular as she dominated the first set, but, serving at 4-5 in a tight second set, No 298-ranked Tararudee coughed up a pair of inopportune double-faults, and, with the momentum now in hand, Badosa took control of the decider.

“Her level surprised me,” the Spaniard said in her on-court interview. “I think she has a great future. Credits to her, she played well. I had to stay there, I had to wait for my moment.”

Elsewhere in Hua Hin, Viktorija Golubic was at her creative best in the 1st-round of the Thailand Open, dipping into her bag of tricks en route to defeating Brazil’s Laura Pigossi, 6-1 6-2.

The Swiss reached match point with a flourish, swishing her racket like a magic wand as she carved through a forehand approach.

Pigossi’s defence meant that Golubic still had to improvise once at the net, where she showed off her full array of volleys, and a high backhand was followed by a florid chop, laden with spin, and, finally, a reflexed backhand down the line was enough to get past the Brazilian.

Two come-backs were halted at the first hurdle, with former World No 12 Wang Qiang from China, returning to action following a 16-month hiatus, defeated 6-1 6-1 in her first match since Tokyo 2022 by her compatriot, No 5 seed Wang Xiyu, in 58 minutes, while qualifier Dalma Galfi from Hungary needed just 68 minutes to race past Australian wild-card Ajla Tomljanovic, 6-3 6-0.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Nao Hibino pulled off a remarkable turn-around to defeat Kamilla Rakhimova from Russia, 7-6(4) 6-0, after trailing 0-5 in the first set before winning 13 of the next 14 games.

The Japanese saved 3 set points in the opener, 1 when down 5-0, and 2 more down 5-4, all on her own serve.



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