Zhang will face South Korea’s Su Jeong Jang on championship Sunday
Jang ousts last American in marathon match at WTA 125K Series event, presented by The Hawaii Tourism Authority 

Nov. 25, 2017

Ann Miller, Hawaii Open Staff

Waipahu, HI, Nov. 25, 2017 – Top-seeded Shuai Zhang will be in familiar territory for Sunday’s Hawaii Open singles championship. A year ago, the world’s 36th-ranked player lost to American teen CiCi Bellis in the final.

This year, she will take on 22-year-old South Korean Su Jeong Jang, at 2 p.m. on the Patsy T. Mink CORP tennis courts. The WTA 125K Series tournament, presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, will mark Jang’s first WTA final.

She has her work cut out for her. Zhang swept Sweden’s  Rebecca Peterson, 6-2, 6-2, in a Saturday semifinal. Peterson hadn’t lost a set all week.

Zhang, one of three Top-50 players from China, lost one in the second round. She has been dominant before and after. 

The 28-year old put together points in bunches — 11 in a row at one stage — to frustrate Peterson, whose power game had been solid all week. Even with a nine-minute rain delay, this match was an hour shorter than the opener.

“This is the best tennis I’ve played this week,” said Zhang, who will go for her third WTA title Sunday. “Every match has been better and better and my body feels better each time too.”

Peterson, who played on Sweden’s Fed Cup team, is the same age as Jang, who needed 2 hours and 22 minutes to take out Julia Boserup, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Boserup was the last of 12 Americans in the Hawaii Open field.

Jang’s WTA final debut is an accomplishment achieved with a relentless game that was too much for Boserup’s persistent pace and high-risk shots.

“She was a very hard swinger from the baseline and it was a very tough match,” said Jang, who is the only player to make the semifinals in singles and doubles here. “This is my first-ever WTA tournament final and I am very happy.”

One break was the difference in all three sets, which were very different. Jang won the first in 37 minutes. It took Boserup, who has been ranked as high as 80th, nearly an hour to win the second. Going into the third, only two points separated them.

Jang won the first four games of the decisive set, then outlasted a mini-rally and short rain delay to close it out. 

It was the end of a brilliant week for Boserup, who eliminated career Grand Slam doubles champ Sara Errani in the first round — “I was a little intimidated just to hear her resume during warmups,” she admitted — and took out two seeds on her way to the semifinal. She had lost her last eight matches before Hawaii.

Jang, at No. 179, is South Korea’s top-ranked player. She lost to Zhang two weeks ago in Japan.

Tennis Channel and Fox Sports Asia have more than 100 hours of live TV coverage from  the Hawaii Open this week.

For more information about the 2017 Hawaii Open, updated scores and schedules, and to purchase tickets, visit www.hawaiitennisopen.com. Follow the Hawaii Open on Facebook @HawaiiTennisOpen. 

The media is encouraged to attend. Photos can be obtained by request and media credentials are available by calling 808-304-9047.

Singles Semifinals

Su Jeong Jang (KOR) def. Julia Boserup (USA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

(1) (WC) Shuai Zhang (CHN) def. Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-2, 6-2

Doubles Semifinals

Shu-Ying Hsieh (TPE)/Su-Wei Hsieh (TPE) def. (3) Lesley Kerkhove (NED)/Lidziya Marozava (BLR) 0-6, 7-6 (7-5), 11-9

(2) Eri Hozumi (JPN)/Asia Muhammad (USA) def. Na-Lae Han (KOR)/Su Jeong Jang (KOR) 6-2, 6-4

Doubles Final (in progress)

Hsieh (TPE)/Hsieh (TPE) vs. (2) Hozumi/Muhammad (USA)

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