Naomi Osaka vs. Lesia Tsurenko, US OPEN QF Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: QF Preview
🇯🇵 (20) Naomi Osaka vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

A huge opportunity presents itself to Naomi Osaka and Lesia Tsurenko on Wednesday when they go head-to-head for a spot in the semi-finals at the US Open. These two are at very different stages of their careers but this will be the biggest moment for both. Osaka and Tsurenko will be making their first quarter-final appearance at a Grand Slam, who will step up and make the most of this rare chance?

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during the fourth round at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka stormed through the first week at Flushing Meadows. Osaka dropped a combined 7 games in commanding victories over Laura Siegemund, Julia Glushko and Aryna Sabalenka. Osaka faced her first big test in the fourth round where she won the battle of the young guns, a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win over a red-hot Aryna Sabalenka. It was an emotional win for Osaka, a huge occasion for the 20-year-old.

No one would have predicted that Lesia Tsurenko would reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final at this year’s US Open. Tsurenko also cruised through the first week of the event without dropping a set. The 29-year-old started her campaign with a win over Alison Van Uytvanck before claiming a huge 6-4 6-2 upset win over the 2nd seeded Caroline Wozniacki. Tsurenko eased past Katerina Siniakova 6-4 6-0 before securing her spot in the final 8 with a grueling 6-7 7-5 6-2 win over Marketa Vondrousova. Tsurenko has always been physically fragile, dealing with some type of injury every other week, there have been concerns this event but so far she has been able to battle through.

This will be the first meeting between the pair at the tour level. A match that features an interesting contrast in styles. The power of Osaka against the consistent game of Tsurenko. Osaka will look to overpower Tsurenko but the Ukrainian thrives on power and has experience on her side.

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Barbora Strycova vs. Lesia Tsurenko, Birmingham QF Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham QF Preview
🇨🇿 Barbora Strycova vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

Barbora Strycova and Lesia Tsurenko will do battle in an unexpected quarter-final match-up in Birmingham. Strycova and Tsurenko both secured their places in the final 8 at the Nature Valley Classic with upset victories over seeded opponents, the pair will head into this match with confidence, both will see this as a winnable match. Who will prevail?

Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine in action at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Lesia Tsurenko is into a third quarter-final in 2018. The Ukrainian has advanced to the final 8 in Birmingham thanks to a couple of solid victories, a 7-6 7-5 win over Heather Watson followed by a 1-6 6-3 6-3 defeat of the 6th seeded Daria Kasatkina. Once Tsurenko gets on a roll she can be dangerous, perhaps she can get on a roll in Birmingham.

Barbora Strycova secured her spot in the quarter-finals in Birmingham with yet another victory over Garbine Muguruza in what was her first top 10 victory of the season. Strycova was too solid for the top seeded Spaniard as she claimed a fairly comfortable 6-2 6-4 victory, her third consecutive win over reigning Wimbledon champion. In the opening round Strycova came from a set and a break down to defeat Jennifer Brady 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Surprisingly these two have only gone head-to-head on 1 previous occasion, Tsurenko won that match 6-3 6-0 in New Haven in 2015.

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Daria Kasatkina vs. Lesia Tsurenko, Birmingham R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R2 Preview
🇷🇺 (6) Daria Kasatkina vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

Daria Kasatkina and Lesia Tsurenko will go head-to-head for the first time on Thursday with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham. Kasatkina and Tsurenko both claimed hard-fought opening round victories in Birmingham and will be ready for another battle here in a match-up that should feature a lot of lengthy rallies.

Daria Kasatkina of Russia in action at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Daria Kasatkina progressed to the second round in Birmingham with a gutsy 3-6 7-5 6-4 win over Kristyna Pliskova. Kasatkina was outplayed for the majority of the first two sets but received a lifeline when Pliskova failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set. Kasatkina managed the situation well, adapting her game to get the better of a very difficult opponent on an unfamiliar surface for the Russian.

Lesia Tsurenko earned her spot in the second round with a hard-fought 7-6 7-5 victory over Heather Watson. Tsurenko was the better player in the important moments, especially in a one-sided opening set tiebreak where Tsurenko barely put a foot wrong. The Ukrainian is a very streaky player, she has a tendency to randomly have great weeks, perhaps that will be the case in Birmingham?

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out as the pair do battle for the very first time.

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Lesia Tsurenko vs. Heather Watson, Birmingham R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Nature Valley Classic, Birmingham R1 Preview
🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko vs. 🇬🇧 (wc) Heather Watson

An interesting opening round clash at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham sees Lesia Tsurenko come up against Britain’s number 2: Heather Watson. This is a particularly important week for Watson as she looks to build some much needed momentum before heading to Eastbourne where she is defending semi-finalist points. Tsurenko and Watson both play their best tennis on a quicker surface and both have similar strengths, expect a close match here.

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Lesia Tsurenko’s form has been typically streaky in 2018. The Ukrainian does arrives in Birmingham on the back of a great run to the round of 16 at Roland Garros, however a retirement after just 2 games against Garbine Muguruza in that round of 16 clash was a very disappointing ending to the tournament. Tsurenko had some decent results on grass last year, a semi-final showing in s-Hertogenbosch and a third round appearance at Wimbledon, in theory it is a surface that should favour Tsurenko’s game.

Heather Watson sits precariously inside the top 100. Watson has a heap of points to defend in Eastbourne next week after reaching the semi-finals last year, an early round exit will see Watson’s ranking plummet. Watson has no points to defend in Birmingham after a first round exit last year so she can release some of the incoming pressure with a good week at the Nature Valley Classic. Watson arrives in Birmingham on the back of a second round showing in Nottingham where she was beaten by Johanna Konta in straight sets.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. It was Watson who won their only recent encounter, a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory on grass in Eastbourne last year.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Lesia Tsurenko, Roland Garros R4 Preview

🇫🇷 Roland Garros, R4 Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko

Garbine Muguruza may have entered Roland Garros in poor form and with seemingly little hope of contending for the title but all of that has changed after the first week in Paris. Muguruza was arguably one of the most impressive performers during the first week, steamrolling into the second week without dropping a set. Next up for Muguruza is Lesia Tsurenko. Muguruza will enter this match as a strong favourite against an opponent that has already exceeded expectations in Paris, can Tsurenko continue her dream run in Paris?

Lesia Tsurenko of the Ukraine in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Muguruza has done very well to come through a very tough section of the draw without much fuss. The 3rd seed started the week with a 7-6 6-2 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova before beating Fiona Ferro 6-4 6-3. Muguruza confirmed her spot in the third round with a 6-0 6-2 demolition of Sam Stosur, Muguruza’s win over the Aussie was arguably the most impressive performance anyone was able to produce during the first week. Muguruza has an awesome record in Paris, a champion in 2016, quarter-final appearances in 2014, and 2015 and again into the second week in the last 2 years. Muguruza now looms as a real contender for the title in Paris.

Lesia Tsurenko is into the second week of a Grand Slam for just the second time in her career. Prior to this year’s event the Ukrainian had never even reached the third round in Paris. It has been a great week for Tsurenko who started the tournament with a 3 set win over Stefanie Voegele. Tsurenko booked her spot in the fourth round with back-to-back wins over seeded opponents, 3-6 6-4 6-0 win over 15th seeded CoCo Vandeweghe followed by a 6-2 6-4 win over the 19th seeded Magdalena Rybarikova.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. Tsurenko upset the Spaniard in straight sets in Cincinnati in 2015, more recently Muguruza beat Tsurenko 6-4 6-4 in Wuhan last year.

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Lesia Tsurenko vs Ajla Tomljanovic, Miami R1 Preview

Miami Open, 🇺🇸🌞🐬🌴 R1 Preview
🇺🇦 Lesia Tsurenko vs. 🇦🇺 (wc) Ajla Tomljanovic

Lesia Tsurenko and Ajla Tomljanovic will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage of the Miami Open. Tsurenko made a disappointing opening round exit last week in Indian Wells having arrived at the event on the back of winning the title in Acapulco. Perhaps Tsurenko was tired heading to Indian Wells, after a good rest she will look to rebound strongly in Miami against a very beatable opponent.

For the second year in a row Tsurenko won the title in Acapulco before heading straight to Indian Wells for an opening round exit. Tsurenko was heavily favoured to defeat Lara Arruabarrena but was outplayed in a gruelling 3 set encounter to ensure another early exit from the BNP Paribas Open. Tsurenko will be hoping for a much better result in Miami, especially given the great tennis she displayed on route to the title in Acapulco a few weeks ago.

Ajla Tomljanovic has won just 1 WTA tour level main draw match in 2018, that was a very favourable opening round draw against Destanee Aiava in the first week of the year in Brisbane. Tomljanovic did manage to reach the semi-finals of the 125K event in Indian Wells a few weeks ago but failed to qualify for the main event as she lost to Sara Sorribes Tormo in the final round of qualifying for the BNP Paribas Open.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out in the first career meeting between the pair.

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Lesia Tsurenko vs Stefanie Voegele, Acapulco Final Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, 🇲🇽🌴 Acapulco Final Preview
🏆 🇺🇦 (7) Lesia Tsurenko vs. 🇨🇭 Stefanie Voegele

Lesia Tsurenko will be playing for back-to-back Abierto Mexicano titles on Saturday when she comes up against Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele. Tsurenko is on a 9-match winning streak in Acapulco and has strolled through the draw this week without dropping a set. Tsurenko will head into this final as a strong favourite against the world number 183: Stefanie Voegele. Voegele will be playing in her very first final, against a much more established opponent, can the 27-year-old Swiss cause a big upset?

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Lesia Tsurenko will have a chance to successfully defend a title for the first time in her career. Tsurenko has 3 career titles to her name, winning 1 title in each of the last 3 seasons, a fourth season in a row with a title would be a great result for the 28-year-old. Tsurenko has strolled into Saturday’s Abierto Mexicano final without dropping a set. Tsurenko started the week with comfortable wins over Lauren Davis and Arina Rodionova. The 7th seed has stepped up her game towards the business end of the event, beating Kristina Mladenovic 6-2 6-2 and confirming her post in the final with a 6-2 6-4 win over Daria Gavrilova. Tsurenko successfully exposed the weak backhand side and vulnerable second serve of both Mladenovic and Gavrilova, playing a very consistent and tactically astute game from the baseline.

It was 9th time lucky for Stefanie Voegele as she finally booked her spot in her maiden WTA tour level championship match. Voegele had lost her 8 previous semi-finals making her 6-4 7-6 semi-final win over Rebecca Peterson a sweet one. Voegele was in control for the majority of the match, successfully taking time away from her opponent and serving well throughout the match. Voegele has also claimed straight set wins over Tatjana Maria and Maria Sakkari as well as a notable 3 set win over the top seeded Sloane Stephens in the quarter-finals.

Tsurenko holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Voegele. Tsurenko won the first four matches between the pair, all in straight sets. It is worth noting that all of those matches were tight despite the straight set result, each of the matches featured at least one tiebreak set. Most recently it was Voegele who won, 6-4 6-0 in Katowice in 2016.

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Daria Gavrilova vs Lesia Tsurenko, Acapulco SF Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, 🇲🇽🌴 Acapulco SF Preview
🇦🇺 (3) Daria Gavrilova vs 🇺🇦 (7) Lesia Tsurenko

Lesia Tsurenko is now just two steps away from successfully defending her title in Acapulco. The Ukrainian loves the Abierto Mexicano, Tsurenko has won her last 8 matches at the event, all in straight sets. Tsurenko will look to keep her dream run going on Friday when she comes up against Daria Gavrilova in the first semi-final of the day. This has been a good match-up for Tsurenko who is yet to lose a match to the Aussie.

Daria Gavrilova has certainly not been at her best this week but she has competed hard and claimed some critical victories. Gavrilova took a late wild card into the event as she looked to gain some much needed momentum. The decision is seemingly paying off, Gavrilova started the week with a scrappy 3 set win over Madison Brengle before beating Mexican wild card Renata Zarazúa in straight sets. Gavrilova confirmed her spot in the final 4 with a gritty win over Veronica Cepede Royg, Gavrilova outlasted her opponent, winning 6-4 4-6 6-2. Gavrilova’s serve remains a big issue but her defensive skills and variation from the baseline make her a tough opponent.

Lesia Tsurenko has cruised through to the semi-finals in Acapulco without dropping a set. Tsurenko started her title defense with commanding straight set wins over Lauren Davis and Arina Rodionova before booking her spot in the final 4 with a 6-2 6-2 win over Kristina Mladenovic. Tsurenko produced a high quality performance to blitz Mladenovic in what was a rematch of last year’s final, it was almost a perfect match from the defending champion.

Tsurenko enters this clash with a 4-0 record over Gavrilova. All 4 of their previous matches were on a hard court. Most recently, a 6-2 6-3 win for Tsurenko in a Fed Cup tie last year.

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Kristina Mladenovic vs Lesia Tsurenko, Acapulco QF Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, 🇲🇽🌴 Acapulco QF Preview
🇫🇷 (2) Kristina Mladenovic vs. 🇺🇦 (7) Lesia Tsurenko

Kristina Mladenovic and Lesia Tsurenko will meet at the quarter-final stage of the 2018 Abierto Mexicano in a rematch of last year’s final. It was Tsurenko who got the better of Mladenovic in last year’s final, a fairly convincing straight set win for the Ukrainian. A resurgent Mladenovic will be eager for revenge heading into this match but the Frenchwoman has a poor 1-5 win/loss record against Tsurenko and will need to be at her best to get over the line.

Mladenovic’s terrible form slump seems to be well and truly behind her. The Frenchwoman is certainly playing with a renewed confidence but has still shown signs of vulnerability. The 2nd seed started the week with a commanding straight set win over Amandine Hesse before fighting from a set down to defeat Beatriz Haddad Maia 3-6 6-3 7-5. Mladenovic did well to eventually get over the line against the spirited Brazilian, especially after squandering 3 match points whilst serving for the match at 5-4. Mladenovic played with good variety and was smarter with her shot selection.

Lesia Tsurenko has been untroubled in her first couple of matches in Acapulco. The defending champion kicked off her 2018 Abierto Mexicano campaign with a 6-4 6-1 win over Lauren Davis before cruising past Arina Rodionova 6-3 6-1. Tsurenko will be relieved to have comfortably come through her first few matches this week and can now play with less pressure as she enters the business end of the week.

This has proven to be a good matchup for Tsurenko. It is the Ukrainian who holds a 5-1 record over Mladenovic and has won their two most recent matches in straight sets. A 7-5 6-1 win in last year’s Acapulco final and a 6-3 6-1 win in s-Hertogenbosch a few months later. Tsurenko’s consistency has exposed the weaknesses in the Mladenovic game.

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Lesia Tsurenko vs Arina Rodionova, Acapulco R2 Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, 🇲🇽🌴 Acapulco R2 Preview
🇺🇦 (7) Lesia Tsurenko vs 🇦🇺 Arina Rodionova

Lesia Tsurenko continues her title defense at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL on Wednesday with a second round clash against Australia’s Arina Rodionova. Tsurenko started her title defense in style with a straight set win over Lauren Davis, it is important for the Ukrainian to have a good week in Acapulco or her ranking will take a slide. She will be favoured to progress past Rodionova.

Tsurenko secured her spot in the second round in Acapulco with a 6-4 6-1 win over Lauren Davis. There were some nervy moments for Tsurenko, in the opening set she dropped 4 consecutive games but managed to win 9 of the last 10 games to cruise to the finish line. Tsurenko has been fairly disappointing in 2018 but will be extremely focused and motivated to do well this week as she aims to defend her title.

Arina Rodionova received a slice of fortune as she booked her spot in the second round in Acapulco. Rodionova benefited from the retirement of Kateryna Kozlova after the Aussie won the opening set. The win was Rodionova’s first main draw victory at the WTA tour level in 2018, albeit via a retirement.

This will be the first tour level meeting between the pair. There is a huge gulf in class between these two, 80 ranking points separate the two, Tsurenko is clearly the more established player at this level.

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