US Open: Tsurenko cruises to stunning upset over Wozniacki
It was not Caroline Wozniacki’s night at the US Open Thursday night. With very little coming together for her, the world number two was stunned by her own lack of play and Lesia Tsurenko‘s calm to win 6-4, 6-2 at Louis Armstrong Stadium on the grounds of the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center. It became the biggest win of her career and her second career advance to the third round.
Wozniacki had one win against Tsurenko dating back to 2013 where she took her down in straight sets. While there were some challenges in her win over the Ukrainian, the two-time finalist was playing on comfortable ground that she dominated the competition on. Getting in her groove would be a clear and concise way to advance into the next round.
She gained a two-game lead with a service hold, followed by Tsurenko’s loss of serve where she committed two double faults. She managed to break back in the third but as soon as she returned to service, she double-faulted a third time. She racked up two more before asking for the trainer to come during the next available changeover.
Despite the issues, the Ukrainian fought to play well on the rallies which helped her force deuce. Six double faults were in the books for Tsurenko but got lucky on a bad return from the Dane. After six breaks and nine minutes, Wozniacki was able to get the victory for a 3-1 score
The Dane committed her second double fault of the match that was enough for Tsurenko to get the victory and be attended to by the physio. The conversation was about her right wrist and elbow and the pain it caused her. She took a medical timeout where an ointment was rubbed into her skin massaging the muscles in her arm. The time off court cooled down the second seed who struggled to keep up with Tsurenko with the score even at three each.
After the Ukrainian made it 4-3, she called for the trainer to tend to her arm that took time away from Wozniacki. The Dane still hadn’t found her groove to capitalize on Tsurenko who was fighting for every point in the eighth.
They went six breaks and ten minutes before the game went to the Ukrainian who had a shot at earning her first set win over the world number two. After an hour and five minutes with the ball in hand, Tsurenko earned two set points against the struggling superstar. She called for the trainer during the break while Wozniacki left the court in hopes that a break would change the path of the match.
She held her serve in the opening game to make sure her opponent knew she wasn’t going out. Tsurenko answered to keep on serve which Wozniacki had no problems with as she found some room to move forward with the lead in hand. That disappeared when it looked as if she and Tsurenko would stay on serve but the Dane’s vulnerabilities came to light for the Ukrainian who got the break in the fifth to take the lead. An important hold for the Ukrainian put a concerning thought into Wozniacki who still hadn’t shown any dominance in the match.
It was a major advantage for the 29-year-old who took a 5-2 lead with the opportunity to serve for the match. Despite the major moment in play for the Ukrainian, Tsurenko put Wozniacki on ice with a line drive winner that gave her a memorable win after 1 hour and 41 minutes. “I played more aggressive than before and more patient,” she said to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi after the match. “I did it really well and I was patient for the points and I was waiting for that special ball and it worked many times.”
She hopes to get it to work against as she will go into the weekend facing Petra Kvitova who will be in her path Saturday.