Hua Hin, Thailand, 28 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Taylah Preston is proving she’s a star on the rise at this week’s Thailand Open.

The 18-year-old from Perth has scored two wins against higher-ranked opponents to qualify at the WTA 250 tournament.

The world No.201 completed a successful qualifying campaign with a 6-3 6-1 victory against Ekaterina Makarova, a player eight years her senior and ranked more than 40 places higher at world No.158.

“She is a tough opponent and she doesn’t really give you very much rhythm so that made things really difficult,” Preston said.

“Overall I’m very happy to get through that one.”

Prior to this week, Preston had only recorded four wins at WTA level and qualified once before, at a grass-court event at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in June 2022.

“It’s really great to give yourself an opportunity in the main draw at these events,” Preston said.

“I haven’t played very many WTA events and they always teach you a lot, so hopefully I can qualify for a few more and get used to being in main draws.”

Preston will face world No.32 Zhu Lin, the tournament’s second seed, in the opening round.

Aussies in action – Hua Hin

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
Taylah Preston (AUS) d [9] Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-1
[6] Arianne Hartono (NED) d [8] Daria Saville (AUS) 7-5 6-3

Women’s singles, first round
Arina Rodionova (AUS) v [6] Yuan Yue (CHN)
[WC] Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v [Q] Dalma Galfi (HUN)
[Q] Taylah Preston (AUS) v [2] Zhu Lin (CHN)

Women’s doubles, first round
Arina Rodionova (AUS)/Yuan Yue (CHN) v Luksika Kumkhum (THA)/Peangtarn Plipuech (THA)

Find your way to play: Visit to get out on court and have some fun!