MOSCOW, Russia – Lesia Tsurenko eliminated second seed CoCo Vandeweghe from the VTB Kremlin Cup on Wednesday, coming through 7-5, 1-6, 6-2, and reach her second career quarterfinal at the event.
The Ukrainian first won a main draw match in Moscow in 2015, when she went all the way to the semifinals before losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova, and battled back from two deficits in the sets she won while also overcoming a third-set medical timeout for a knee injury.
"It's the end of the season, but at some point, I was thinking about whether I should continue the match," Tsurenko said on-court. "I'm really happy that I won it, in the end."
Vandeweghe could have broken into the rankings Top 10 this week had she beaten her opponent, coupled with Kristina Mladenovic's later loss to Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Playing Vandeweghe for the second time, Tsurenko won five games in a row to seize the first set from the second seed’s control, taking it 7-5.
The American hit right back, demonstrating the sensational shot-making skills which took her to the last four of the Australian Open and the US Open this season, as she took the second set 6-1.
She broke in Tsurenko's first serve game of the set, for the first time since the sixth game of the match, to take a lead she would never relinquish as she powered through to a decider.
Despite serving at just over 50% for the set, the two-time Grand Slam semifinalist defended her delivery better in the second set, dropping just three points behind her first serve and never facing a break point.
Vandeweghe's stretch of games ran to five straight, and eight of nine, as she claimed the first two in the final set, but Tsurenko held from 15-30 to stem the tide and get on the board.
The Ukrainian put together another run of games in the decider and broke the Vandeweghe serve three times in succession, claiming the match on her third match point to secure her place in the last eight.
Vandeweghe's unforced error count mounted over the course of the two hour, six-minute encounter, with the American finishing with 49 over the course of three sets.
Though she broke Tsurenko five times in seven tries, her eight aces were not enough to counter the Ukrainian's break point chances, with Tsurenko winning six of her return games in 10 chances.
With the win, Tsurenko will face Germany's No.7 seed Julia Goerges, who defeated Yulia Putintseva, 6-3, 6-3 first up on Court 2.
"I know her pretty well, we've played many times against each other," Tsurenko said. "She's the same kind of player like CoCo, and you feel no rhythm against her. She's a powerful server and she has a very good forehand, so it's going to be a very tough match."