HOBART, Australia - No.5 seed Lesia Tsurenko claimed her first career victory over Yulia Putintseva, 6-3, 6-2, to move into the quarterfinals of the Hobart International.
The 28-year-old Ukrainian had lost both previous meetings against her opponent from Kazakhstan, but proved much too powerful for her in Australia, moving through in one hour and 13 minutes.
Despite the relatively one-sided scoreboard, Tsurenko admitted that it was a tougher match than it might have appeared.
“She was giving me a lot of trouble,” she said. “The same happened in the last match, when she won 6-1, 6-1 and was unbelievable. It was a great victory for me today.”
She admitted that the gloomy weather was an incentive to get off court as rapidly as possible.
“I was aware of the rain coming soon so I wanted to try and finish as soon as possible and win the match before it started,” she said.
As she stepped up the pressure, hitting 17 winners to three over the duration of the match, her opponent became increasingly frustrated and made unforced errors with greater frequency.
Tsurenko also had a tendency to play the big points well, winning five of seven chances on break point, while Putintseva squandered numerous of her own, most notably hitting long twice as her opponent served for the first set.
“I really enjoy playing here,” Tsurenko, who reached the semi-finals here a year ago, admitted.
She will equal or potentially surpass that achievement if she can overcome No.1 seed Zhang Shuai or Aryna Sabalenka, who meet on Wednesday, in the last eight.
Although she has never faced Sabalenka, having won her two previous meetings with Zhang, the WTA World No.43 will feel good about her chances.