MONTERREY, Mexico - No.3 seed Lesia Tsurenko needed three sets and nearly two and a half hours to make a winning start to her Abierto GNP Seguros campaign - and extend her Mexico win streak to 11 matches in a row.
After claiming back-to-back titles in balmy, seaside Acapulco, Tsurenko returned to Mexico seeking to replicate her success in Monterrey, nestled in a mountain valley in the north part of the country. Historically, it’s not been strongest tournament - her best result here is a second-round appearance in 2015, the last time she competed in Monterrey.
Read more: Tsurenko digs deep to claim Acapulco double
She’s already matched that result after battling to a three-set comeback against the No.122-ranked Hibino, triumphing 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4. Her win brings up a matchup against either Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Mariño or Miami Open breakout star Danielle Collins.
The topsy turvy opening set was bracketed by four straight breaks of serve at the start and four straight breaks at the end of the set. Hibino herself was broken twice while serving for the set, but she redeemed herself by taking a one-sided tiebreak 7-2.
She had a hard time putting Hibino away in the second - after getting ahead to an early break, the Japanese player surged back to level at 2-2. Tsurenko got her nose back in front in the next game, but she needed five set points across two games in order to finally take the second set, leveling the score.
While the first two sets featured eleven breaks of serve and a tiebreak, the third set was decided by just one break as Tsurenko edged ahead at 4-2. Once again, she needed three match points across two games but was able to get the job done, sealing the match after two hours and 31 minutes.
Also through to the second round, Indian Wells standout Sachia Vickery continued her winning run - the No.7 seed knocked out fellow American Irina Falconi, 6-1, 6-4. She’s joined by Alison Riske, who edged past Evgeniya Rodina 6-0, 7-6(4), No.6 seed Ana Bogdan, who survived a three-set roller coaster against Mexican wildcard Victoria Rodriguez to advance 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5), and second seed Magdalena Rybarikova, who beat Risa Ozaki 6-4, 6-3.
The final round of qualifying in Monterrey also concluded today, with Valentini Grammatikopoulou, Dalila Jakupovic, Usue Maitane Arconada and Marie Bouzkova all earning main-draw berths.