Monterrey | Osorio upsets Svitolina to reach semi-finals in Mexico

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Camila Osorio spoiled Elina Svitolina’s plans for a deep run at the Abierto GNP Seguros WTA 250 tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, when the Colombian toppled the top seed 1-6 7-5 7-6(5) on Friday.

I won my first title here so it is a special city for me. I always had good times here, and finally I got to play a match in front of the Monterrey public—hearing their support, it motivated me to work even harder on the court. Leylah Fernandez

Svitolina pledged her prize-money from the tournament towards Ukrainian relief efforts but her hoped-for $31,000 awarded to the title winner has fallen disappointingly short, to just $5,800, as a losing quarter-finalist.

Osorio, the 5th seed, came back from a double-break down in the deciding set to edge out the breaker after a royal 2 hour 33 minute battle.

In a match that finished well after midnight, the 20-year old World No 44 prevailed to improve her career record against Svitolina to 2-0, while the Ukrainian’s run ends at 7-1 after having won the Mexican Open title in 2020 against Marie Bouzkova from the Czech Republic.

Svitolina romped through the first set, claiming the last 5 games to grab the opener, but she was unable to put away Osorio’s pin-point hitting and sturdy defence in the second, and the Colombian claimed the only break of that set at 6-5 to suddenly push the clash into a decider.

An up-for-grabs 3rd set was seemingly in Svitolina’s control as she charged out to a 4-1, double-break lead, but Osorio scampered all over the court to win divine rallies, and was rewarded with 4 games in a row and a 5-4 lead.

Svitolina stopped the winning streak with a hold for 5-5, and they moved into a decisive tiebreak.

The top seed led 3-0 in the breaker, but Osorio came back at her again, and at 5-5, Svitolina hit an ill-timed double-fault to give Osorio a match point, which the Colombian closed out after a rally and a fine punched-away volley winner, and the upset was hers.

 

Leylah Fernandez got past Qiang Wang late on Friday night to keep her title defence plans alive in Monterrey, Mexico

© Gonzalo Gonzalez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Osorio’s opponent in the semi-final is Nuria Parrizas Diaz after the 6th-seeded Spaniard upset her compatriot Sara Sorribes Tormo, the defending champion and 4th seed, 6-3 1-6 6-4, to reach her first ever WTA semi-final.

In Friday’s opening match of the day, Parrizas Diaz, ranked 51, took 3 hours and 2 minutes to outlast Sorribes Tormo, the World No 36, in the first meeting between the two Spaniards.

With the win, the 30-year-old reached her first career tour-level semi-final after going 0-3 in her previous quarter-finals.

In the lower half of the Mexican draw, an even longer match followed, with Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia also claiming a hard-fought win, saving 3 match points before ousting Bouzkova, 4-6 6-4 7-6(7), in a gruelling 3 hours and 22 minutes.

Haddad Maia saved 3 match points in the 3rd-set tiebreak, coming back from 3-6 down in the breaker to triumph.

A recent doubles finalist at the 2022 Australian Open, Haddad Maia made it into her first tour-level semi-final since 2019, and is now a win away from her 2nd career WTA Tour singles final after being the runner-up to Jelena Ostapenko at 2017 Seoul.

Her opponent in the semi-final is Leylah Fernandez, the No 2 seed from Canada, who completed the semi-final line-up with a very late night win over China’s Qiang Wang, 7-6(4) 6-4.

The 19-year old defending champion won her her first WTA title last year here in Monterrey and has her eyes on a repeat this year.

“I won my first title here so it is a special city for me,” Fernandez said after edging past another Chinese Zheng Qinwen in a 3rd-set tiebreak to reach the last 8 on Wednesday.

“I always had good times here, and finally I got to play a match in front of the Monterrey public—hearing their support, it motivated me to work even harder on the court.”

Fernandez is ranked 21, and now the favourite for the Monterrey title on Sunday.

 

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