PARIS, France – WTA World No.39 Lesia Tsurenko caused an upset by storming back from behind to defeat No.15 seed Coco Vadeweghe, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.
The American came out of the blocks quickly but stuttered at the beginning of the second set, allowing the Ukrainian a foothold in the match. The seeded player grew increasingly frustrated, with the 29-year-old ultimately running away with the decider.
The WTA World No.15 looked in the zone early on as she appeared intent on making rapid progress against an opponent against who she had suffered defeat in their previous meeting, which took place in Moscow last year.
Vandeweghe showed measured aggression in the opening set, moved to the net judiciously, and largely looked at ease. Only when she dumped a drop shot into the net to fall 15-30 behind did her serve look under any pressure.
Tsurenko, on the other hand, was being made to battle for each game. She succeeded in asking her opponent to serve out, having fallen 15-30 down in the eighth game, but it proved only a temporary reprieve as an ace yielded the set for her 26-year-old opponent.
Both previous meetings between these players went the distance, so perhaps it should have been no surprise when Tsurenko came back fighting in the second.
She actually seemed in trouble as she dropped the first two points of the set as she served but took advantage of some wayward hitting from the other end of the court as Vandeweghe’s error count spiked.
For a period, the higher-ranked player steadied herself, getting back to the quality of tennis that had won her the opener, but when serving to stay in the set the mistakes returned. Tsurenko was denied on her first set point, but on the second Vandeweghe hit long, showing her frustration in the aftermath and earning a warning as a consequence.
The momentum of the match had now turned decisively, with Vandeweghe’s aggression now being channelled in ways that prevented her from showing her best. Tsurenko quickly got her nose in front in the set and showed no relent as her tennis remained at a high level throughout.
Vandeweghe’s frustration, meanwhile, cost her a point as she was penalised for ball abuse in the fourth game of the set having sent a simple volley into the net. Holding a 0-40 advantage, Tsurenko pounced, providing her with insurance that was valuable in the following game as her opponent briefly threatened to stage a rally.
This was staved off, however, and when two balls from the American’s racquet flew into the net, it was confirmed that Tsurenko will face No.19 seed Magdalena Rybarikova, who beat Belinda Bencic, 6-4, 6-2, in the third round.