ACAPULCO, Mexico - No.7 seed Lesia Tsurenko will take on Kristina Mladenovic in the final of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel after top seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni was forced to retire after trailing 0-5 in the first set.
"I was really shocked on court when she decided to retire," Tsurenko said after the match. "I wish that she feels better. I'm pretty happy to be in the final, but shame that she's not feeling well."
Lucic-Baroni had been in imperious form this week in Acapulco - her first event since her dream run to the Australian Open semifinals - and she hadn't dropped a set all tournament long.
But on Friday night against Tsurenko, the Croat was noticeably subdued from the start, moving sluggishly and her usually booming strokes lacking bite. Tsurenko broke three times and, after a visit from the trainer and tournament doctor, Lucic-Baroni was forced to retire citing gastrointestinal illness.
? WTA (@WTA) March 4, 2017
"I was really unlucky; I picked up a virus, I vomited just before I went on the court," Lucic-Baroni explained. "I tried. Because I'm not the type to retire, ever. I'll just put on more tapes and play, and I can play through anything really.
"But I just felt extremely dizzy and like I was going to vomit all the time, and I just couldn't continue. I'm really upset, because this is such a great tournament and I'm playing so well.
"It's just a crappy way to end a really good tournament."
For Tsurenko, this puts her through to her first final of the year; earlier in the season she made a run to the semifinals at the Hobart International. In fact, it's her first final since September 2016 when she won the title at Guangzhou.
"I watched their match, it was really tough match for both of them," Tsurenko acknowledged. "But this is not always a big advantage for me; sometimes when you play a long match you get stronger and feel the surface better.
"We'll see tomorrow. I hope I'll be fresher physically."