PREVIEW | 2023 WTA Elite Trophy Final as home hope Qinwen Zheng aims to delight Zhuhai crowd against Beatriz Haddad Maia

The final of the 2023 WTA Elite Trophy will take place on Sunday, October 29 at the Hengqin International Tennis Center in Zhuhai, China. Here is our preview of the event, with home player Qinwen Zheng set to battle it out against Beatriz Haddad Maia for the title.

The 2023 WTA Elite Trophy began with the Top 12 players of the season who did not qualify for the WTA Finals divided into four groups. From there, the four semi-finalists emerged, who have now been reduced to two.

Home hope Zheng came through three tough matches to reach this stage. The World No. 18 defeated Donna Vekic 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-4, before ousting Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. In the semi-final, she fought another three-set thriller against her compatriot Zhu Lin, who entered the WTA Elite Trophy as a wild card.

The 21-year-old has had a successful season throughout this year. She won her first two WTA titles at the Palermo Ladies Open in July and at the Zhengzhou Open earlier this month. She also made it to the quarter-finals of the US Open in September.

Haddad Maia has cleaner run ahead of debut clash

Meanwhile, World No. 19 Haddad Maia has had a clean run at the tournament so far as she is still yet to drop a set. She swept past second seed Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4 and defeated Caroline Garcia 6-1, 7-6 (4) to reach the semi-final, where she downed Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-1.

The Brazilian player has also seen a lot of success this season, building up 34 wins out of 56 matches and achieving a run to the semi-finals at the French Open.

The two players have never faced each other before, but both have shown their resilience and determination throughout both this tournament and the season as a whole.

Zheng will be relying on the support of the home crowd, as well as on her aggressive style of play and strong court coverage, while Haddad Maia will be hoping to use her own power and draw on her superior experience at this level.

Overall, it is likely to be a closely contested final, but Haddad Maia's cleaner run so far suggests that she will ultimately emerge victorious.

Prediction: Beatriz Haddad Maia to win in three sets.

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