Hua Hin, Thailand, 31 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Arina Rodionova’s impressive start to the 2024 season is continuing at this week’s Thailand Open.

The 34-year-old Australian eliminated sixth seed Yuan Yue in the opening round at the WTA 250 tournament.

Rodionova grinded out a 7-6(6) 4-6 6-3 victory against the world No.64 in two hours and 52 minutes.

“It was crazy. It was so hot and humid. We played for nearly three hours and she hits the ball so hard,” Rodionova said.

“I just try to fight on every point, do what I can and just see what happens. I didn’t really have much off-season, I just played a lot of matches so that’s where I got my fitness from.

“I took it one point at a time, fighting as hard as I can. That’s about it. That’s my secret. Experience helps as well.”

It is Rodionova’s third top-100 win so far in 2024. This is the most she has scored in a single season since 2020.

Currently sitting at a career-high world No.101, Rodionova will look to continue this winning run when she faces world No.90 Bai Zhuoxuan in the second round.

Meanwhile, Australian qualifier Taylah Preston bowed out in the opening round against world No.45 Zhu Lin.

The defending champion was full of praise for the 18-year-old from Perth after recording a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 victory.

“It was a really tough match for me,” said Zhu, who saved a set point in the second set.

“She’s very young and she’s very talented. I think if she keeps playing like this then she will be in the top 100 very soon.”

Aussies in action – Hua Hin

Women’s singles, first round
Arina Rodionova (AUS) d [6] Yuan Yue (CHN) 7-6(6) 4-6 6-3
[2] Zhu Lin (CHN) d [Q] Taylah Preston (AUS) 6-4 7-5

Women’s singles, second round
Arina Rodionova (AUS) v Bai Zhuoxuan (CHN)

Women’s doubles, first round
[Alt] Kimberly Birrell (AUS)/Dalma Galfi (HUN) v Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE)/Anastasia Tikhonova

Women’s doubles, quarterfinals
Arina Rodionova (AUS)/Yuan Yue (CHN) v [4] Bibiane Schoofs (NED)/Anna Siskova (CZE)

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