Acapulco Abierto Telcel; Brasil Tennis Cup
Cibulkova Claims Acapulco Title; Zakapalova Wins Brasil Cup
wtatennis.com March 1 2014 Florianopolis, Brazil - An incredible fightback brought Klara Zakopalova her first WTA title in over eight years, as she rallied from 64 52 down to beat Garbiñe Muguruza in the Brasil Tennis Cup final.
Zakopalova has been coming on strong over the last few years - her first second weeks at Grand Slams, breaking the Top 20 for the first time last April - but WTA titles have been eluding her as of late, as she captured her first two back in 2005 but had been stopped in all six of her finals since then.
And it looked like that trend would continue on Saturday as she faced Muguruza in the final of the Brasil Tennis Cup, falling behind 64 52 - but that's when Zakopalova took it to a whole new level, finding the perfect range on her huge groundstrokes and running everything down - the No.3-seeded Czech ran off 11 games in a row to completely run away with it against the No.2-seeded Spaniard, 46 75 60.
The victory brought Zakopalova the third WTA title of her career, and first in a long time - she won her first two at 's-Hertogenbosch and Portoroz in 2005, in June and September that year, respectively.
In Acapulco, Mexico, Dominika Cibulkova won her first WTA title of the year - and fourth of her career - at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, and in doing so secured a new career-high of No.11.
The No.1-seeded Cibulkova was pushed to the limits against Christina McHale, needing almost three hours - two hours and 54 minutes to make it past the American in an absolute grinder under the lights, 76(3) 46 64. And it could have crossed three hours, too - McHale clawed back from 2-5 to 4-5 in the third set, fought off three match points then had a point to even the decider at 5-5 - but Cibulkova held her off.
By virtue of even making the final, Cibulkova secured a rise from No.13 to No.11 when the new rankings are released, finally bettering the previous career-high of No.12 she originally reached for four weeks in 2009 and touched again for one more week in 2012. It was still a breakthrough week for McHale though - having come into this week 0-2 in WTA semifinals, her marathon win over Caroline Garcia on Friday night put her through to her very first WTA final.
The doubles final took place earlier in the evening, with No.2 seeds Kristina Mladenovic and Galina Voskoboeva beating Petra Cetkovska and Iveta Melzer in a match tie-break for the title, 63 26 105. It wasn't the pair's first time winning a WTA doubles title together - they won in Memphis a year ago.
Acapulco Women’s Singles Final Saturday Mar 1
1-Dominika Cibulkova beat Christina McHale 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4
Acapulco Women’s Doubles Final Saturday Mar 1
2-K.Mladenovic/G.Voskoboeva beat P.Cetkovska/I.Melzer 6-3 2-6 10-5
Brasil Cup Women’s Singles Final Saturday Mar 1
3-Klara Zakopalova beat 2-Garbine Muguruza 4-6 7-5 6-0
Brasil Cup Women’s Doubless Final Saturday Mar 1
A.Medina/Y.Shvedova beat F.Schiavone/S.Soler 7-6(1) 2-6 10-3
McHale Reaches First Career WTA Final in Acapulco; Cibulkova Advances
wtatennis.com March 1 2014 Acapulco, México - Christina McHale battled into the first WTA final of her career at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL on Friday night, edging Caroline Garcia in a two-hour, 44-minute grinder, 36 62 75.
McHale had been stopped in her two previous WTA semifinals - both at Québec City, in 2010 and 2013 - and for a while it looked like history would repeat itself this time too, as Garcia won the first set routinely and, after dropping the second set, went up 2-0 in the third set with points for 3-0.
But McHale kept grinding, winning seven of the next 10 games to close it out. The very end of the match wasn't so smooth, though - McHale won it on her sixth match point. Awaiting McHale in Saturday night's final will be No.1 seed Dominika Cibulkova, who defeated No.8 seed Zhang Shuai by a 4-2 scoreline when the Chinese rising star was sunken by a right arm injury.
Zakapalova, Muguruza in Final of Brasil Cup
wtatennis.com February 28 2014 Florianopolis, Brazil - It had been almost 12 years since the last all-Spanish final on the WTA - and the drought will continue. Klara Zakopalova battled past Carla Suárez Navarro in the semifinals of the Brasil Tennis Cup, and will next take on her countrywoman, Garbiñe Muguruza, in the final.
In a match where breaks were the norm - 18 of the 26 games were breaks - it was the No.3-seeded Zakopalova who would hold it together better, beating the No.1-seeded Suárez Navarro, 63 36 62. Zakopalova hit an ace on match point - the only ace for either player the entire match. This is actually Zakopalova's second final in as many weeks - she was a runner-up in Rio last week.
Awaiting her in Saturday's final is No.2 seed Muguruza, who put a stop to the run of Yaroslava Shvedova in an hour and 10 minutes, 62 63. Things got a little tricky at the end - she was up 62 51, lost two games and missed her first two match points - but she managed to close out the Kazakhstani.
Brasil Cup Women's Singles Semifinals Friday Feb 28
2-Garbine Muguruza beat Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2 6-3
3-Klara Zakopalova beat 1-Carla Suarez-Navarro 6-3 3-6 6-2
Acapulco Women's Singles Semi-finals Friday Feb.28
Caroline Garcia vs Christina McHale
1-Dominika Cibulkova vs 8-Zhang Shuai
Muguruza, Shevadova in Brasil Cup Semis; Cibulkova Roll in Acapulco, Bouchard Ousted
wtatennis.com February 27 2014 Florianopolis, Brazil - The Brasil Tennis Cup's Top 3 seeds all advanced to the semifinals on Thursday, but there's an unseeded player crashing the party - and it's Yaroslava Shvedova.
Shvedova continued her path of destruction through the draw, holding all nine of her service games and converting on all three of her break points to swat aside No.6 seed Alexandra Cadantu, 63 63.
Though she has reached a lot of quarterfinals in this span - including two French Open quarterfinals, in 2010 and 2012 - this semifinal is actually Shvedova's first WTA semifinal in almost four years.
It was at Barcelona in 2010, where she fell to soon-to-be French Open winner Francesca Schiavone. Awaiting her in this semifinal will be No.2 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, who regrouped after letting a 62 53 lead slip and edged Belgian qualifier Alison Van Uytvanck in two hours and eight minutes, 62 67(2) 63.
The other semifinal will pit No.1 seed Carla Suárez Navarro against No.3 seed Klara Zakopalova, who both won their quarterfinals by retirement. Zakopalova beat Alexandra Dulgheru by a 63 52 scoreline when the Romanian qualifier had to stop because of a back injury, and Suárez Navarro beat Monica Niculescu by a 46 60 41 scoreline when the No.5-seeded defending champion had an ankle injury.
In Acapulco, México, Dominika Cibulkova kept storming through the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL draw Thursday, but fellow Top 2 seed Eugenie Bouchard fell to the suddenly red-hot Caroline Garcia. The No.1-seeded Cibulkova was definitely tested in her match against Marina Erakovic, trailing a break early in the first set and facing a 3-1 deficit in the second set, but she overcame it all, 64 75.
Next up for Cibulkova is No.8 seed Zhang Shuai, who originally looked headed for a straight set victory up 61 31 but ended up having to grind past the always-dangerous Ajla Tomljanovic in three, 61 57 62. Cibulkova has beaten Zhang in all three of their previous meetings, in straight sets too.
The big story of the day actually broke at night, as Caroline Garcia pulled off the upset of the week, rallying from a set and a break down to beat No.2 seed and fan favorite Eugenie Bouchard, 36 64 61. Garcia's win over the World No.19 wasn't just her first Top 20 win, it was her first win over a Top 40 player - her best win before this week came against a No.47-ranked Zheng Jie at Wimbledon last year. The Frenchwoman had never been to a WTA quarterfinal before this week - now, first WTA semifinal.
Acapulco Women's Singles Quarterfinals Thursday Feb.27
Christina Mchale beat 3-Kaia Kanepi 6-1 2-6 6-4
8-Zhang Shuai beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1 5-7 6-2
1-Dominika Cibulkova beat Marina Erakovic 6-4 7-5
Caroline Garcia beat 2-Eugenie Bouchard 3-6 6-4 6-1
Brasil Cup Women's Singles Quarterfinals Thursday Feb.27
1-Carla Suarez-Navarro beat 5-Monica Niculescu 4-6 6-0 4-1
2-Garbine Muguruza Blanco beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-2 6-7(1) 6-3
3-Klara Zakopalova beat Alexandra Dulgheru 6-3 5-2 ret.
Yaroslava Shvedova beat 6-Alexandra Cadantu 6-3 6-3
Suarez-Navarro, Zakopalova, Muguruza Advance to Quarters in Brasil Cup
wtatennis.com February 26 2014 Florianopolis, Brazil - Top-seeded Carla Suárez Navarro overcame a rain delay at an inopportune time on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Brasil Tennis Cup. After winning the first set against Kiki Bertens, the Spaniard staved off two set points down 5-4 in the second. But after leveling the set at 5-5 and seizing back the momentum, a light drizzle forced the players to leave the court. Suárez Navarro finished off the 63 76(2) victory when they returned.
Next up for Suárez Navarro is No.5 seed and defending champion Monica Niculescu. Niculescu reached her third WTA quarterfinal of the year at the tournament where she captured her lone WTA title a year ago with a 63 61 defeat of qualifier Danka Kovinic.
Also facing off in Thursday's quarterfinals will be third-seeded Klara Zakopalova and qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru. Zakopalova was a 63 63 winner for the second straight day, this time over qualifier Alizé Lim. Dulgheru beat Brazilian No.1 Teliana Pereira, 75 62, to book her first quarterfinal berth since Miami in March 2011.
A day after a two-and-a-half-hour battle with Vania King, Garbiñe Muguruza had a much easier time in securing a quarterfinal berth at the Brasil Tennis Cup. After going down an early break in the first set against Chanelle Scheepers on Tuesday, Muguruza won 11 of the next 12 games for a 62 61 triumph in 58 minutes that saw her convert on five of six break point opportunities. The Spanish No.2, who is also seeded second this week behind Spanish No.1 Carla Suárez Navarro, improved to 15-3 in WTA matches this season - a season that has already seen her capture her first WTA title in Hobart.
Acapulco Women's Singles Second Round Wednesday Feb 26
3-Kaia Kanepi beat Julia Goerges 6-7(4) 6-4 7-6(6)
2-Eugenie Bouchard beat Lara Arruabarrena Vecino 7-5 6-2
Marina Erakovic beat 6-Bojana Jovanovski 6-1 6-4
Caroline Garcia beat Sharon Fichman 6-2 7-5
8-Zhang Shuai beat Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1 6-4
1-Dominika Cibulkova beat Yanina Wickmayer 7-5 6-2
Christina Mchale beat Kimiko Date-Krumm 7-5 6-1
Ajla Tomljanovic beat Victoria Duval 6-3 6-0
Brasil Cup Women's Singles Round Round Wednesday Feb 26
1-Carla Suarez-Navarro beat Kiki Bertens 6-3 7-6(3)
5-Monica Niculescu beat Danka Kovinic 6-3 6-1
Alexandra Dulgheru beat Teliana Pereira 7-5 6-2
3-Klara Zakopalova beat Alize Lim 6-3 6-3
Alison Van Uytvanck beat 8-Paula Ormaechea 6-2 6-2