Thailand’s Peangtarn Plipuech once again made her mark in Hua Hin after she progressed to the second round of qualifying with a three-set, three hour marathon win over 7th seed Anastasia Tikhonova 63 46 76(6). The 30-year-old Thai national made it through to the round of 16 as a wild card in 2020 and will be hoping to replicate that success again.
The wind played a major factor in all matches today and players were forced to adapt to counter the conditions. Australia’s Astra Sharma was one of the first winners of the day over Thai wild card Chompoothip Jundakate 62 62 managing to find her way around the weather:
“It was really tricky obviously, wind blowing quite strongly and the sun and tricky conditions when you’re trying to serve so I was just keeping really calm and trying to figure out that it’s not going to be my best day and adapting and rolling with it was what was going to help.”
2022 US Open Junior Champion Alexandra Eala from the Philippines fought hard to overcome the experienced Xinyun Han 61 76(6) and was pleased to progress:
“I think the way I played, considering the conditions today, I’m really happy with and you know, this year even though so far it’s been kind of tough on me mentally, I’m really happy with how I composed myself. I know that she’s a very experienced player, so I wasn’t expecting an easy fight and she didn’t give me an easy fight, so overall, very happy with the match.”
Switzerland’s Joanne Zuger got off to a strong start, losing only one game 61 60 en route to victory over wild card Ivanna Yastremska from Ukraine, younger sister of the 2019 Thailand Open champion, Dayana Yastremska.
“It was a fast match today,” said Zuger, “I didn’t know my opponent because she hasn’t played on the circuit before but of course, difficult with the wind, but we were both struggling with it. So I think it didn’t make a big difference. And finally, it is good to be fast through to the second round.”
The Swiss 22 year-old is just one of the players enjoying her visit to Hua Hin and experiencing local food and culture, one of the aims of the Tourist Authority of Thailand in supporting the event:
“Yesterday night we went to a night market, it was super cool. There’s lots of food and cool things to see. It’s very cheap, also for us from Switzerland. There’s a lot of fun things to see and the people are super friendly.”
The qualifying draw continues tomorrow, Sunday 29 January, with free entry to the True Arena for spectators