Oh my… Sara Errani upset Victoria Azarenka on Thursday with a 7-5 6-3 victory to set up an unlikely quarter-final against Lesia Tsurenko. It was a befuddling loss that i’m struggling to get my head around. Azarenka just had a really bad day at the office and couldn’t find any rhythm. I’m still cringing at those last few points where Errani could barely get her serve in and Azarenka just couldn’t find the court. It does kind of make sense to me though because from recent experience of playing tennis, I find it so much easier to return a more powerful serve rather than a weaker one where I have to inject pace. While Errani played a great match, this was a poor loss for Vika, particularly when you look at the head-to-head and the opening in the draw.
Lesia Tsurenko continued her excellent recent form as she extended her winning streak to ten matches. In fact, Tsurenko’s recent record on hard courts has seen her win 16 of her last 17 matches on this surface with quarter-final showings in Indian Wells and Toronto, and a first WTA title in Istanbul. At Indian Wells, Tsurenko came through two rounds of qualifying and then beat three top 30 players in Andrea Petkovic, Alizé Cornet and Eugenie Bouchard en route to the quarter-finals where she was forced to pull out with a injury in her quarter-final match against Jelena Jankovic.
It’s a case of déjà vu in Toronto as Tsurenko has come through two rounds of qualifying, scored another top ten win in Garbiñe Muguruza and also may be struggling with an injury. During the second set of her third round match with Carina Witthoeft, Tsurenko went over on her ankle when she stepped back on to one of the small advertising boards on the court. It looked nasty (why do they always have to replay these moments!) and Tsurenko had a MTO in the game after it happened. She did extremely well to close out Witthoeft in straight sets, 6-3 6-4. Tsurenko was the more solid player with Witthoeft trying to up the aggression in the second set but failing to make her pressure pay.
Errani also had a MTO against Azarenka for a leg injury so who knows what will go down in this one. Tsurenko’s in great form but still relatively inexperienced with big matches like this. I’m worried about how that ankle will be tomorrow morning. The courts suit Errani so i’m leaning towards the Italian player in straight sets.
Prediction: Errani d. Tsurenko in 2 sets