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?

Embed from Getty Images

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.

To view my Analysis / Predictions for this match: Click here

Stefanie Voegele vs Rebecca Peterson, Acapulco SF Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, ??? Acapulco SF Preview
?? Stefanie Voegele vs ?? (Q) Rebecca Peterson

A hugely surprising semi-final match-up at the Abierto Mexicano sees Stefanie Voegele come up against Rebecca Peterson, a match-up between two players ranked well outside the top 100. Voegele and Peterson both secured their spot in the final in Acapulco with upset victories over seeded opponents on Thursday, both will be confident heading into this match. This is a huge opportunity for both, who will step up?

It has been a great week for Stefanie Voegele who is into the semi-finals of a WTA tour level event for first time since Luxembourg 2015. Voegele started the week with straight set wins over Tatjana Maria and Maria Sakkari. It was at the quarter-final stage where Voegele claimed her biggest scalp, a 6-4 5-7 6-2 win over the top seeded Sloane Stephens. Voegele’s win over Stephens’ was her first win over a top 20 opponent since she beat Stephens in Luxembourg in 2013.

Rebecca Peterson is playing the tennis of her life this week in Acapulco. The Swede has stormed through both the qualifying draw and main without dropping a set. Peterson cruised past 3 far higher ranked opponents to reach her very first WTA tour level semi-final, wins over Alize Cornet, Monica Puig and Shuai Zhang. Peterson has consistently played her very best tennis, obliterating her opponents with her heavy forehand and making a mockery of the rankings system in the process.

This will be the first career meeting between Voegele and Peterson, surprisingly it will come at the semi-final stage of a WTA tour level event.

To view more Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here 

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.

To view more Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here 

Daria Gavrilova vs Veronica Cepede Royg, Acapulco QF Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, ??? Acapulco QF Preview
?? (3) Daria Gavrilova vs. ?? Veronica Cepede Royg

An interesting quarter-final match-up in Acapulco sees the third seeded Daria Gavrilova come up against Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg. Gavrilova has scrapped her way into the final in 8 in Acapulco, the Aussie has not been at her best but has competed well enough to stay alive. Cepede Royg is playing great tennis, defeating two more fancied opponents to reach the final 8 in Acapulco. Can Cepede Royg claim a third consecutive upset victory?

Daria Gavrilova is competing in Acapulco the first time. The Aussie started the week with an unconvincing 3 set win over Madison Brengle, a 4-6 6-3 6-3 triumph. Gavrilova overcame a couple of tough moments to get past Mexican wild card Renata Zarazúa, 7-5 6-3. Gavrilova’s serve continues to be a big problem, Gavrilova has hit a whopping 23 double faults in her first 2 matches this week. Gavrilova will need to improve her level if she is to advance any further this week as she comes up against an in-form Cepede Royg on Thursday.

It has been a brilliant week for Cepede Royg. The Paraguayan started the event with a memorable 4-6 7-6 6-3 win over Belinda Bencic. Cepede Royg backed up one of the biggest wins of her career with an equally impressive win, a 7-6 6-1 win over the 5th seeded Irina-Camelia Begu. Unlike Gavrilova, Cepede Royg is serving very well this week. Cepede Royg was broken on just one occasion in her win over Begu and was strong on serve against Bencic.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

Shuai Zhang vs Rebecca Peterson, Acapulco QF Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, ??? Acapulco QF Preview
?? (4) Shuai Zhang vs. ?? (Q) Rebecca Peterson

The fourth seeded Shuai Zhang comes up against Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson at the quarter-final stage of the Abierto Mexicano on Thursday. Both Zhang and Peterson have advanced to the quarter-final stage in Acapulco without dropping a set. Can Peterson keep her dream run going? Or will Zhang be too strong?

Shuai Zhang has reached back-to-back quarter-finals having reached the final 8 stage in Budapest last week. Zhang started her Acapulco campaign with a comfortable 6-3 6-1 win over Jasmine Paolini before overcoming a tough test to defeat Jill Teichmann 7-6 6-4.

Rebecca Peterson is having the best week of her career. Peterson advanced to the main draw with straight set wins over Elitsa Kozlova and Olivia Rogowska. Peterson has been just as commanding in the main draw, beating Alize Cornet 6-2 6-4 and Monica Puig 6-1 6-4. Peterson’s win over Puig was particularly impressive, a very clean performance, one that did not reflect her current lowly ranking.

It was Zhang who won the only previous match between the pair, a 6-2 6-2 win in Honolulu last year.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

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.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

Sloane Stephens vs Stefanie Voegele, Acapulco QF Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, ??? Acapulco QF Preview
?? (1) Sloane Stephens vs. ?? Stefanie Voegele

Sloane Stephens will be back in action on Thursday where she takes on Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele in the Abierto Mexicano quarter-finals. Stephens survived match point in her 3 set second round victory, perhaps a turning point for the reigning U.S Open champion and 2016 Acapulco champion. Sloane will head into this match as a strong favourite and will hope for a more clinical performance than her previous match.

Embed from Getty Images

Stephens arrived in Acapulco having not won a match since her U.S Open triumph almost 6 months ago. The American finally got back onto the winners list with a straight set win over Pauline Parmentier in the opening round. Stephens looked set for another disappointing loss when she twice trailed Arantxa Rus by a set and a break, her Dutch opponent served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. Stephens managed to force a second set tiebreak where she came from 1-4 down and saved match point to force a decider. It was 1 way traffic in the deciding set as Stephens claimed an important 5-7 7-6 6-0 victory.

Stefanie Voegele is having her best week of the season so far. Voegele is into her first tour level quarter-final since Tianjin last year courtesy of a couple of straight set victories. Voegele eliminated the 8th seeded Tatjana Maria in the opening round before defeating Maria Sakkari 6-3 6-4 to advance to the final 8 in Acapulco. This is a huge result for Voegele given she currently sits at number 183 in the world.

Interestingly, it is Voegele who holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Stephens. The most recent match between the pair was way back in 2013, a 3 set win for Voegele in Luxembourg, Voegele also beat Stephens the week before that in 3 sets in Linz.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

Sloane Stephens vs Arantxa Rus, Acapulco R2 Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, ??? Acapulco R2 Preview
?? (1) Sloane Stephens vs ?? (Q) Arantxa Rus

Sloane Stephens continues her Abierto Mexicano campaign with a second round clash against Dutch qualifier Arantxa Rus. Sloane’s opening round victory was her first win since her triumph in the U.S Open final almost 6 months ago. The 2016 Acapulco champion will be hoping she can string a few wins together this week and work towards the form the saw her claim a maiden Grand Slam title last year.

Stephens is certainly going through the process of coming to terms with her new standing tennis. The 2017 U.S Open champion arrived in Acapulco on a 6-match losing streak having not won a match since the U.S open final. The top seed and former champion managed to get her Acapulco campaign off and running with a fairly comfortable straight set win over Pauline Parmentier 6-4 6-0. The first set was tight but Stephens cruised to victory in the second.

Arantxa Rus secured her spot in the Acapulco main draw courtesy of a couple of straight set wins in the qualifying draw. Rus then came from a set down to defeat American wild card Kayla Day, a 4-6 6-1 6-0 win. Her reward is a second round clash against the top seeded Sloane Stephens.

This will be the first career meeting between Stephens and Rus.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

Daria Gavrilova vs Renata Zarazua, Acapulco R2 Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, ??? Acapulco R2 Preview
?? (3/wc) Daria Gavrilova vs ?? (wc) Renata Zarazúa

The third seeded Daria Gavrilova will come up against local wild card Renata Zarazúa in the second round of the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL. Gavrilova scrapped through her opening round match with Madison Brengle, the Aussie will be hoping for a much more consistent performance against Zarazúa. Gavrilova will be an overwhelming favourite heading into this match but will have to contest against an opponent with nothing to lose and the vocal Mexican crowd.

Embed from Getty Images

It was a frustrating opening match for Gavrilova in Acapulco, a 4-6 6-3 6-3 win over Madison Brengle. Gavrilova was wayward early but played at a higher level more often in the second and third sets, enough to get over the line against a frustrating opponent. Gavrilova has a tendency to get involved in tight matches against much lower ranked opponent so she will be unlikely to take anything for granted heading into this second round match.

20-year-old Mexican wild card Renata Zarazúa caused the biggest upset of the tournament thus far when she defeated Kristyna Pliskova in the opening round. The 6-3 6-4 win was the biggest win of the 20-year-old’s career, her first victory over an opponent ranked inside the top 100. It must be said that Pliskova played awfully, but credit to Zarazúa who did what she had to do and played with good variety.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here

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.

To view my Analysis / Prediction for this match: Click here