WTA Acapulco: Christina McHale powers past Monica Puig while Kristina Mladenovic is into the semifinals
Kristina Mladenovic defeated Kirsten Flipkens to reach the semifinals. (Photo: Mextenis)

WTA Acapulco: Christina McHale powers past Monica Puig while Kristina Mladenovic is into the semifinals

The first two seeds, Kristina Mladenovic and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni are into the semifinals of the Mexican Open. Lesia Tsurenko and Christina McHale are also part of the last four.

Liliana Martinez

Quarterfinals day at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel and the day began with Christina McHale booking her spot in the last four after defeating Monica Puig in a convincing match. After playing a three hour second round match, Kristina Mladenovic looked fresh when she defeated Kirsten Flipkens. Lesia Tsurenko and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni are also through. 

Christina McHale powers past Monica Puig

After a trade of serves, McHale found the break as Puig continuous mistakes cost her two crucial points. The Puerto Rican attempted to break back, but the American was quick to save those points. After a lengthy game of serve, McHale fired up a forehand down the line winner to consolidate the break and lead 3-1. Puig was not able to find her pace and once again, she had her serve broken. McHale was being dominant, barely making mistakes as she trailed off with a 5-1 lead. For the first time since the first game, Monica Puig was able to hold but she remained two breaks down. McHale had to go through three set points and a break point to serve out the first set, 6-2.

In the second set, both players exchanged two holds before the American struck again, breaking the Puerto Rican to 30. McHale only lost a point on her serve on her way to consolidate the break and then stunned Puig, who was not able to win a point on her serve, giving away one more break and this time leaving McHale to serve for the match. The American only lost two points on her serve on her way to close the match. After one hour and 12 minutes, Christina McHale defeated Monica Puig 6-2, 6-2.

Christina McHale outlasted Monica Puig on her way to the last four.  (Photo: Mextenis)

Mladenovic books her spot in the semifinal 

Early in the match, the second seed got the early break and had to save a break point to lead 3-0. Once again, the Belgian was forced save another break point to get on the scoreboard. The awaited break finally came as Flipkens erased Mladenovic’s lead, but the Frenchwoman was quick to break back. Leading 4-2, Mladenovic double-faulted on break point and Flipkens was now back on serve to level up the scoreboard. The Frenchwoman smashed a backhand into the net to consolidate the break and help level to 4-4. The second seed barely struggled to keep her serve and be up 5-4. Two set points arrived for Mladenovic when Flipkens returned a volley but went wide. However, the Belgian saved both of them. Another break point came after a wide forehand. A forehand beyond the baseline sealed the first set as Mladenovic took it 6-4. 

In the second set, the Frenchwoman began with a hold to love. A very erratic from the Belgian handed the first break of the set to Mladenovic who sealed with a beautiful crosscourt backhand to lead 2-0. A second hold to love granted a larger advantage to the second set who was trailing off with a 3-0 lead. Mladenovic seemed in total control as the Belgian couldn't find her pace after losing that opening set, another break happened when Flipkens hit a wide backhand. But the momentum seemed to have shifted when Flipkens created two break opportunities, the Frenchwoman saved both of them thanks to her serve. 

Kirsten Flipkens was not able to defeat Kristina Mladenovic.  (Photo: Mextenis)

Another break point came in order after a volley that stayed in the net, this time Mladenovic was not able to save it as she hit a wide forehand. Still, a break down the Belgian held her serve to shorten the gap to 2-4. The Frenchwoman had a tough game of serve but managed to hold for a 5-2 lead. The Belgian didn't succumb to the pressure and held, but now it was the second seed who had the pressure of serving the match. Mladenovic finished the match hitting an aggressive open court volley to seal her pass to the semifinals after a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Kirsten Flipkens. 

Tsurenko outlasts Ostapenko to reach her second semifinal of the year 

It was Tsurenko the first one to face a break opportunity, but the Ukrainian erased it to later hold for a 2-1 lead. Ostapenko was not able to hold her serve once again and helped the Ukrainian to extend her lead to 3-1. Just like in the previous game, Ostapenko wasted another chance to recover one of the breaks, but instead went on and lost the next game to give Tsurenko the chance to serve for the set. It was not an easy game for the Ukrainian as she had to save three break points on her way to take the opener, 6-3.

In the second set, Tsurenko broke in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead, but the Latvian began increasing her second serve percentage and that finally paid off when after four break points she finally broke in the seventh game to recover the break and later with her serve to level the score to 4-4. Both players kept holding their serves until the second set had to be decided on a tiebreak. Once again, the serve was key as neither played was able to hold their serve, after seven mini breaks in a row, Tsurenko was the first one to get two match points, Ostapenko saved one, but another mini break handed the win to Tsurenko who defeated the third seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 7-6.

Lesia Tsurenko is into her second semifinal of the year.  (Photo: Mextenis)

Lucic-Baroni reaches the semifinals without dropping a set

After only losing a point on her serve, the Croatian went on to get three break points on the Frenchwoman serve. Parmentier was able to save one, but Lucic-Baroni converted the next point to take an early lead. Despite losing her serve in the next game, the Croatian broke once again for a 3-1 lead which she would consolidate with a hold to 15. The pair exchanged breaks once again, but in the end, it was the Croatian who stayed on top as she broke for a fourth time, this time to love, to take the opener, 6-2.

The second set was a more solid display of tennis from both players as this time they didn’t have to face break points until the sixth game when Lucic-Baroni struck first again and broke to lead 4-2. But just like in the first set, it didn’t take long until Parmentier broke again to serve to level to 4-4, but Lucic-Baroni surprised the Frenchwoman and got a second break to lead 5-3 and serve for the match. A cross-court backhand winner sealed the win for the Croatian after claiming a victory over Pauline Parmentier 6-2, 6-3. 

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, the top seed, defeated Pauline Parmentier.  (Photo: Mextenis)

Day Five

Semifinals day will begin with a clash between Kristina Mladenovic and Christina McHale. After the Nadal-Cilic match, and not before 8:00 pm (local time), the top seed, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni takes on Lesia Tsurenko.