Shuai Zhang vs. Zarina Diyas
|Date & Time||Thursday September 13, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Zarina Diyas and Shuai Zhang meet in the quarterfinals of the 2018 tennis Japan Open.
Zarina Diyas is coming off a three sets win over Kateryna Kozlova that took 33 games to decide. In the victory, Diyas won 85 percent of her first serve points and 52 percent of her second serve points. Diyas won 77 percent of her total service points and saved all four of her break points. Diyas has won 70-plus percent of her points in both matches this tournament and has yet to be broken in each of her last five sets. Diyas has always enjoyed this tournament, as she’s the defending champion and was the runner-up in 2014. Given her last two matches, Diyas has to be considered the favorite to repeat and could do so rather easily if she continues to serve the way she has lately. Diyas is hitting her spots with confidence and just hit nine aces, as there’s something about Hiroshima that brings the best out of the 24-year-old. Diyas has split her last six matches on hard court.
Shuai Zhang is coming off a straight sets win over Nao Hibino that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Zhang won 68 percent of her first serve points and 40 percent of her second serve points. Zhang won 58 percent of her total service points and produced four breaks on five break points. Zhang can obviously clean up the second serve, which has been a problem all year long, but her return has been highly effective in her first two matches. Zhang entered this tournament losing seven of her last 10 matches, so any sort of success should be looked at as progress for the 29-year-old. Zhang has a chance to win three matches in a single tournament for the first time since Prague back in May. Zhang has split her las eight matches on hard court.
These two have played twice and Diyas has won both matches. The most recent meeting was on New Years Day of this year, which Diyas won in three sets. The other match was in Tokyo in 2017.
Diyas should have little trouble in this match, as she’s made light work of Zhang in the past and simply plays some of her best tennis at this tournament. Zhang and her weak second serve will catch up to her here, as she’s gotten in trouble against previous opponents but has been able to dig out if it when it mattered. That won’t be the case against a player as polished as Diyas.
Diyas reaches the semis in straight sets.