Sunday Jan 29: Round up of the action from the WTA Thailand Open in Hua Hin

Joanne Zuger. Image: WTA Thailand Open

By Paul Laffisse

Saturday (Jan 28) saw the start of the qualifying rounds of the WTA 250 Hua Hin – the annual women’s tennis tournament being played on the hard courts at True Arena Hua Hin Sports Club.

The event is taking place until February 5 and is free to attend for spectators.

On Saturday there were 24 competitors among which were 8 ranked players.

The main event was the Center Court match between the Russian Anastasia Tikhonova (ranked 231) and the Thai national Peangtarn Plipuech.

The Thai national won after a mammoth 3 hour fight with the last set decided by Tie Break 7-6.

On Sunday, Peangtarn Plipuech then played against Johanne Zuger, from Switzerland, ranked 195.

The twenty-two year old Swiss, told Hua Hin Today how she started playing tennis at 6 years old being coached by her mother and stepfather at her mother’s tennis academy in Basle.

Zuger was speaking to Hua Hin Today after easily overcoming Ivanna Yastremska of the Ukraine.

Ivanna is only 16 years old and didn’t have enough experience to challenge J-Zuger nor to cope with windy conditions but she showed high potential.

Ivanna is the younger sister of Dayana Yastremska (ranked 74) who won the Thailand Open in 2019 and will start the main draw on Monday.

Picture: Paul Laffisse from Hua Hin Today interviewing Switzerland’s Joanne Zuger at the WTA Thailand Open 2023 at True Arena Hua Hin.

Sunday marked the second day of competition for J. Zuger.

During the first set, the Thai player was leading 4 games to 0 until Joanne Zuger found a way to undertake an incredible and surprising comeback to 5/5 as at the beginning, she encountered lots of difficulties to implement her strategy.

The second set started in the same way, with a similar scenario compared to the first one. P. Plipuech was leading 2/0 until Zuger broke at the 3rd game.

The turning point was in the second set when the score was 3/3.

J. Zuger won the 6th game of the set as she struggled to win her service.

Then, spectators witnessed a fierce battle with around 10 minutes of advantage/deuce. Finally, Zuger succeeded in breaking which set her on the path to victory.
The match between Plipeuch and Zuger was characterized by a repetition of many direct faults but also double faults ( J. Zuger, 6 double faults while P. Plipeuch, 5).

The most outstanding element to highlight is Joanne’s Zuger strong mentality, which showed all her experience and fighting spirit during this competition.

Zuger’s performance and mental resolve suggests she could be one to watch at this year’s tournament.