The 25-year-old Chinese tennis player competed in her first WTA final on Sunday, October 15, but unfortunately, she came up empty-handed, losing 6-2, 6-3 to world No. 4 and top seed Jessica Pegula.
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Yuan entered the tournament as the world No. 128 and left behind one of the favorites, Marie Bouzkova, making her the surprise of the tournament. However, Pegula had no trouble handling the pressure of being the favorite and calmly secured the title.
The Chinese tennis player used her social media to reflect on what she achieved during her best week on the WTA Tour. She also had kind words for the American and expressed her gratitude for Pegula's kindness.
"First time entering the top eight of WTA, first time entering top four of WTA. Once I reached the WTA finals, although I failed to win the championship in the end, it should still be commemorated," she said. (Translated from a post on Weibo)
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"Miss Pegula is really nice. When she sees that no one is warming up with me, even though she can play with the coach, she takes the initiative to ask me if I want to do some activities together. She is at a loss when she sees me holding the trophy," she said.
"When I was playing, she asked me to come over and take pictures together and asked the photographer to stay a little longer to take a few more pictures of me alone. She also encouraged me after the game," she added.
The North American spoke about Yuan in the on-court interview after the match and highlighted her opponent's talent. Pegula stated that the Chinese player has the level to continue competing in the later stages of tournaments.
"Last time we played was a battle and this one was as well. You're really talented and I told you your ranking is going to go up. You told me it's your first final but I'm sure there will be many more," she said.