ACAPULCO, Mexico - Though it was a different year and a different round, it was the same result for Lesia Tsurenko against Kristina Mladenovic at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC on Thursday night.
The No.7 seed and defending champion dispatched the No.2 seeded Frenchwoman in a rematch of last year's title match, 6-2, 6-2, to advance to the semfinals for the second year in a row.
From 2-0 down in the opening set, the Ukrainian No.2 won eight straight games to stamp her authority on the match, and won four of the last five as well after Mladenovic got the second set back on serve.
Tsurenko has not dropped a set in Acapulco since 2015, having won five matches in straight sets en route to her third career WTA title last year - where she was, ironically, the No.7 seed and defeated No.2 seed Mladenovic in the championship, 6-1, 7-5.
Six winners to seven unforced errors helped Tsurenko break serve a total of three times in the opener, as Mladenovic grew increasingly wayward after toughing out a pair of multiple-deuce games to move ahead 2-0 to begin the quarterfinal.
The Frenchwoman struck just five winners herself in the first eight games, but racked up a total of 14 unforced errors while serving under 50% for the set.
Tsurenko continued to motor through the match as the second set began, and clocked a backhand return winner down the line to win her eighth straight game and bring the score to 6-2, 2-0.
Though Mladenovic offered some brief resistance, breaking at love with the help of a double fault, to get the second back on serve, she was unable to ever draw even as Tsurenko broke twice more to wrap up the match in one hour, 10 minutes and keep her title defense alive.
The World No.40 ended the match in the positive overall, with 15 winners and 11 unforced errors as she improved her head-to-head against the World No.14 to six wins in seven matches.
Mladenovic, who double faulted six times, including on match point, stroked just 12 winners to 22 unforced errors in defeat.
The Ukrainian will next face Australian No.3 seed Daria Gavrilova, who needed three sets and nearly two-and-a-half hours to see off Paraguay's Veronica Cepede Royg, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.