Zhu Lin continued her strong start to 2023 at the Thailand Open presented by E@, advancing to the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Tamara Zidansek.
However, it was former Roland Garros semifinalist Zidansek who stole the show early on in the match, showing off quick feet and soft hands to track down multiple Zhu drop shots before lofting a lob over the Chinese player's head.
Zidansek had come out on top of a quality battle in the previous round over No.8 seed Linda Fruhvirtova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
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No.54-ranked Zhu has begun the season in fine form. The 29-year-old defeated Venus Williams en route to the Auckland quarterfinals and scored her first Top 10 win over Maria Sakkari to reach the Australian Open fourth round. She has compiled an 8-3 record so far this year, and in Hua Hin has advanced to the third tour-level semifinal of her career following Kuala Lumpur 2016 and Nanchang 2018.
More Hua Hin highlights: Zhu d. Wang Xiyu, R1 | Maria d. Eala, R1 | Watson d. Putintseva, R1 | Kostyuk d. Liang, R1 | Zidansek d. L.Fruhvirtova, R2 | Andreescu d. Zakharova, R2 | Wang Xinyu d. Watson, QF | Tsurenko d. Maria, QF | Andreescu d. Kostyuk, QF
Zhu will bid to reach her first tour-level final in an all-Chinese derby against her doubles partner, No.7 seed Wang Xinyu, who overcame Heather Watson 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4 in 2 hours and 40 minutes.
"Second set was close, I had my chances, but I didn't really step up and bring my game up and be more aggressive," said Wang. "So that's also the reason why in the third set I was just like, first game, I was just going for it, and that's how I actually broke her serve and got the lead.
"Obviously [Zhu] is playing really good now from Australia. She made an unbelievable tournament [in Melbourne]. I know tomorrow it's gonna be tough because she's feeling the ball well now."
In the top half, No.1 seed Bianca Andreescu defeated No.5 seed Marta Kostyuk to set up a semifinal clash with Lesia Tsurenko.