Caroline Wozniacki, Lesia Tsurenko Claim WTA Titles

Caroline Wozniacki and Lesia Tsurenko won in Tokyo and Guangzhou respectively.

Caroline Wozniacki followed up her run to the semifinals of the 2016 US Open with a title this weekend. She joined Lesia Tsurenko in the WTA’s winner’s circle, the latter claiming a title in Guangzhou, China. Wozniacki’s win came in the Tokyo event, a mid-level WTA Premier event that awarded the Dane a nice chunk of ranking points for her efforts.

Wozniacki certainly did not have anything close to an easy draw in Tokyo. She opened her tournament against Belinda Bencic, a player who only recently fell out of the Top 10. After the first round, the Dane had Carla Suarez-Navarro, Magda Linette, and Agnieszka Radwanska to contend with just to make the final. But despite losing three sets in the opening four rounds, Wozniacki persevered through the tough draw and retained enough energy to see off home-country favorite Naomi Osaka, a player that is looking as though she has a very bright future on tour.

The title for the former World No. 1 shows that she is getting back to her best tennis. With the new rankings on Monday, Wozniacki will likely be ranked about 22nd in the world. For a player who was out of the Top 75 a month ago, that’s certainly a promising development. She still has a lot of work to do to get back into the picture for the year-end WTA Finals, however it’s certainly not out of the question given her proven abilities.

Next up for Wozniacki is the Wuhan draw, one that starts on Sunday. While her form suggests that she might be a force in the tournament, perhaps the Dane is a withdrawal risk as she enters the event on very little rest.

In Guangzhou, the Ukraine’s Tsurenko claimed what was just the second title of her career. The Ukrainian may have received some draw luck early in the tournament when Christina McHale pulled out of the event. That move softened Tsurenko’s early-round draw, perhaps giving her a critical edge in the entire tournament as she expended very little energy in the early going.

However, in the latter stages of Guangzhou Tsurenko beat some quality players in Alison Riske, Anett Kontaveit, and former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic. For her efforts, Tsurenko should find herself ranked about 58th or so on tour on Monday. She is also scheduled for action this upcoming week as she is in the Tashkent draw. However, like Wozniacki, you have to wonder if the Ukrainian is in need of rest at this point.

The other tournament that concluded over the weekend was WTA Seoul. The final featured Monica Niculescu against Lara Arruabarrena on Sunday. The latter claimed that final, a title that marked the 2nd of her career.

Tashkent and Wuhan are up next with latter being the big tournament, offering 900 ranking points to the eventual champion.

Shane Lambert