March 3, 2018 / 5:36 AM / a year ago

Tennis: Defending champion Tsurenko back in Acapulco final

(Reuters) - Defending champion Lesia Tsurenko frittered away six match points before finally seeing off Australia’s Daria Gavrilova 6-2 6-4 in their Mexican Open semi-final on Friday.

The Ukrainian seventh seed has yet to drop a set over the last two years on the Acapulco hard court, a hot streak she will expect to extend when she meets unseeded Swiss Stefanie Voegele in Saturday’s final.

Voegele, ranked 183rd in the world, reached her first WTA-level final appearance when she beat Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson 6-4 7-6(5) in the second semi.

Tsurenko acknowledged she had struggled to close out her match after leading 5-0 in the second set, but also credited her third-seeded opponent with some spirited resistance.

“I think it was just getting more and more tough in the second set because her defense was just amazing,” the 28-year-old told reporters after extending her perfect record against Gavrilova to 5-0.

“It was confusing for me and I made a lot of mistakes, probably because I lost some concentration, but I’m really happy I finished 6-4 and didn’t go to a tiebreak or something like that.”

Tsurenko, ranked 40th in the world, has three career titles.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien

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