The WTA Tour experienced a relatively quiet week as only one tournament was played, the 2018 Abierto Mexicano Telcel. It has been named the International Tournament of the Year for several years running, but this year the tournament took a major blow when the stars failed to turn up. Nonetheless, it was still a successful tournament when Lesia Tsurenko managed to defend her title with a tough win over Stefanie Voegele in the final.
Last Week’s Champions
For the second year in running, Lesia Tsurenko was crowned the queen of Acapulco. Losing just one set throughout the week, the Ukrainian managed to keep her place inside the top-40 of the rankings with the terrific performances she has put up all week. The final was a marathon thriller, and it went the distance with surprise finalist Stefanie Voegele putting up an inspired fight.
In a repeat of last year’s final, Tsurenko easily ousted a tired Kristina Mladenovic in the quarterfinals by a stunning 6-2, 6-2 scoreline. Top seed Sloane Stephens was upset by Voegele, the world number 185 who made her maiden WTA final after falling eight successive times in semifinals.
Zhang Shuai was also shocked by Rebecca Peterson, the Swedish qualifier, in straight sets and the Chinese only managed to claim three games during the loss. Peterson had also previously upset sixth seed Alize Cornet in the opening round. Belinda Bencic’s struggles continued, extending her losing streak to four matches after a disappointing showing against Veronica Cepede Royg.
Both Kateryna Bondarenko and Sara Errani are notable risers in the rankings after their impressive run to the final in the WTA 125k event held in Indian Wells, part of the Oracle Challenger Series. Prevailing in the final, the Italian finally made her long-awaited return to the top-100 after rising 32 spots without losing a set in the main draw. Furthermore, with her excellent run of form, Bondarenko found herself ranked 74th on Monday.
The removal of the Malaysian Open from the calendar meant that Ashleigh Barty is unable to defend her title and 280 points, and therefore she drops five spots and currently lingers barely outside the top-20 in the rankings.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni’s continual struggle with injury issues saw her withdraw from Acapulco, and due to the loss of 185 points. The Croatian now shockingly finds herself at the 79th spot in the rankings despite starting the year 32nd.
Road to Singapore
There were no big movements in the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard with the top remaining unchanged, but Lesia Tsurenko now finds herself inside the top-15, rising 30 spots. The players will now fight for 1000 points in the upcoming Indian Wells tournament.
This Week’s Tournaments
The tour will now move into its first Premier Mandatory event of the year, the BNP Paribas Open. All the top players are slated to participate and its 96-player draw is certainly going to produce many thrilling match-ups. Furthermore, it is also going to be the first tournament since the 2016 Australian Open that Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Victoria Azarenka will all be in the same draw.