Yuan Yue in Austin, Texas
Yuan Yue wins her first WTA Tour title, the 2024 ATX Open in Austin, TX. (Photo: Extra Topspin)
(8) Yuan Yue defeated (6) Wang Xiyu in an all-Chinese affair to win her first WTA Tour title at the 2024 ATX Open in Austin, Texas.

Austin, Texas delivered a week of glorious weather (with two chilly days squeezed in the middle) for the second annual ATX Open.

Resident peacocks paraded (and serenaded) the grounds of the Westwood Country Club as players and fans enjoyed another year of competition at the intimate venue.

Yuan Yue Claims Maiden WTA Tour Title

25-year-old Yuan Yue dropped the first set of the tournament and decided that was enough. She didn’t lose another set the rest of the way.

Yuan, the number eight seed, played aggressive tennis all week. It paid off with her first-ever WTA Tour title, as she defeated her good friend and sixth-seed Wang Xiyu 6-4 7-6(4) in the all-Chinese final.

Yuan’s game plan in the championship match was “to play more aggressive, because if I [wait] for her mistake and if she plays aggressive, I cannot return her ball. Her ball is very heavy, so I want to attack her.”

The win moves Yuan to No. 49 in the world rankings, eclipsing the top fifty for the first time in her career. But she isn’t focused on rankings.

“I think it’s normal,” she said. “Sometimes if you work hard [and] if you play some great games, some great matches, for sure your ranking will be higher.”

Incredibly, she won this tournament with a brand new coach who she only met this week, José Hernández-Fernández.

“It’s [an] amazing week for both of us,” she said, adding that it’s “a really great memory for us.”

She might want to keep that coaching relationship going if this is the type of result they get after one week.

  • Yuan Yue poses on the court with her ATX Open trophy.
  • Yuan Yue awaits a serve from Wang Xiyu at the ATX Open.
  • Yuan Yue poses with the champion's trophy and an autographed poster after winning the 2024 ATX Open.
  • Yuan Yue strikes a forehand at the ATX Open.
  • Yuan Yue rips a backhand at the ATX Open.
  • Yuan Yue speaks to the press after her ATX Open victory.

Yuan actually defeated two compatriots along the way, besting her doubles partner Wang Yafan two rounds earlier in the quarterfinals, 6-3 7-5.

The all-Chinese final marked the first time in history that a North American WTA Tour final was contested by two Chinese players, and only the third time in WTA Tour history worldwide.

Coming on the heels of Qinwen Zheng‘s run to the Australian Open final and subsequent entry into the top ten last month, Chinese tennis is on the upswing.

  • The ATX Open final between Yuan Yue and Wang Xiyu was the first all-Chinese final outside of Asia on the WTA Tour. Yuan Yue won 6-4 7-6(4).
  • Yuan Yue and Wang Xiyu share a hug at the net at the end of their ATX Open final.
  • Yuan Yue and Wang Xiyu speak before the ATX Open trophy ceremony.
  • Yuan Yue and her new coach José Hernández-Fernández celebrate a win at their first tournament together, the ATX Open.
  • Yuan Yue and Wang Xiyu pose with their trophies at the ATX Open.

Wang Xiyu’s Strong Runner-Up Showing

It was also a terrific week for Wang Xiyu. The powerful lefty entered the finals without losing a set all tournament, including a 6-3 7-6(4) victory over the No. 1 seed Anhelina Kalinina in the semifinals.

“I think it brings me confidence,” said Wang. “It pushed me to the higher level of tennis. I hope that I can step-by-step [keep] improving my tennis and get more experience until the end of the year.”

She nearly pulled off an improbable comeback in the final. Down two breaks at 5-2 in the second set, she reeled off four consecutive games, saving three championship points from 0-40 down on her serve at 3-5.

Then again, trailing 6-1 in the second set tiebreaker, she saved three more championship points before finally succumbing.

The Austin fans rallied around her comeback bid. “I feel [the fan energy] all week. It’s not only today. The crowd is amazing,” said Wang. “They support all the players. It’s a really nice environment to play here.”

Wang was all smiles after the match. She was happy to see her friend win the title. They plan to take the same flight to Indian Wells together and intend to play doubles on tour soon, too.

  • Wang Xiyu smiles with her trophy at the 2024 ATX Open in Austin, Texas.
  • Wang Xiyu reaches for a forehand at the ATX Open.
  • Wang Xiyu's racket bag at the ATX Open.
  • Wang Xiyu strikes a serve at the ATX Open.
  • Wang Xiyu strikes a forehand at the ATX Open.

Olivia x Olivia = Doubles Champs

Playing together for the first time, Olivia Gadecki (AUS) and Olivia Nicholls (GBR) won the doubles title, defeating Katarzyna Kawa (POL) and Bibiane Schoofs (NED) 6-2 6-4.

After winning a comfortable first set, the pair trailed 4-0 in the second before winning six games on the trot, punctuated by a forehand service return winner by Gadecki to put the match away.

  • L-R: Olivia Gadecki, Olivia Nicholls, Bibiane Schoofs, and Katarzyna Kawa pose with their ATX Open trophies.
  • Olivia Nicholls and Olivia Gadecki share a laugh after winning the ATX Open.
  • Olivia Nicholls and Olivia Gadecki raise their ATX Open trophies.
  • Olivia Nicholls and Olivia Gadecki take a victory lap after winning the ATX Open.

This was the first WTA Tour title for Gadecki and the second for Nicholls.

The ladies shared a message for their fans after the win:

Around the Tourney

  • A trailer with a colorful mural celebrating the city of Austin greets fans at the entrance to the ATX Open.
  • Diane Parry serves to Anhelina Kalinina in the semifinals of the ATX Open.
  • Alizé Cornet scouts some qualifiers before the ATX Open main draw.
  • Stadium Court at night during the ATX Open.
  • Tournament runner-up Wang Xiyu competes in the semifinals against top seed Analina Kalinina.
  • Autographed ATX Open poster.
  • Nadia Kichenok waits at the net in semifinal round of doubles competition.
  • The stadium crowd at the 2024 ATX Open.
  • A peacock roaming the grounds of Westwood Country Club.
  • Anna Karolína Schmiedlová warms up in Round 2 of the ATX Open.
  • The ATX Open
  • Professional golfer Sergio Garcia teams up with Sloane Stephens for an exhibition match at the ATX Open.
  • No. 1 seed Anhelina Kalinina returns serve against Diane Parry in the ATX Open semifinals.
  • Champion Yuan Yue speaks on court after her semifinal victory over Anna Karolína Schmiedlová.
  • Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins receive a check from Austin jewelry designer and businesswoman Kendra Scott.
  • Diane Parry stretches for a forehand in the semifinals of the ATX Open.
  • Local favorite Peyton Stearns prepares to serve in Round 1 of the ATX Open.
  • Danielle Collins strikes a backhand during Round 1 of the ATX Open.
  • Sloane Stephens returns serve in the ATX Open.
  • Camila Osorio serves in Round 1 of the ATX Open.
  • Professional golfer Sergio Garcia hits an overhead during Sunday Funday at the ATX Open.