Zapopan Open: only one Mexican goes to the main draw

All the warmth of the local public in the Zapopan Open will only be available to a Mexican representative: Renata Zarazuasince the other two exponents, Marcela Zacharias and Fernanda Contreraswere eliminated from the stellar fight after being defeated in the qualies rounds, held between February 19 and 20.

It should be noted that the three are the best ranked Mexicans in world tennis today, occupying positions 121, 251 and 252, respectively. They received the invitation letter from the tournament director, Gustavo Santoscoy, although only Zarazúa made it through the wildcard route, securing his place in the main draw, while Zacarías and Contreras had to start from the qualies.

The first to fall was the potosina Marcela Zacharias, during the first day of the event, on Saturday, February 19. She faced the American Hailey Baptiste (ranked 131) and lost in two sets (6-1 and 6-3); Baptiste ultimately advanced to the main draw after beating the 16-year-old, Victoria Jimenezand now he will face the Czech brenda fruhvirtova.

For her part, the third best-ranked Mexican in the world by the WTA, Fernanda Contreras Gomezwas one step away from qualifying for the main round after losing to the Slovakian Viktoria Kuzmova (7-6, 5-7 and 6-3) in an extended game that was attended by howls from the stands by the local public.

“Come on, Fer!”, was heard in the stands of field 2 of the Zapopan Pan American Tennis Center, under intense heat that reached 29 degrees. Even so, more and more attendees came to see her compatriot in the hard-fought duel against Kuzmova, which lasted two hours and 38 minutes.

Contreras Gómez had just been eliminated in the round of 32 of the third consecutive IFT tournament in Manacor (Spain) against the Italian Camilla Rosatello. However, she was looking for a historic pass to the main draw of a major tournament at the age of 24 and having graduated from Vanderbilt University.

The emotion had taken hold of the Mexican fans after Contreras, unlike Zacarías, did overcome the first round of qualies, knocking out the Chinese Yue Yuan in two sets (6-1, 6-1). However, Kuzmova snatched her dream of qualifying for the main draw in the last attempt and now it will be the Slovakian who faces the experienced Sloane Stephens in the round of 32 survivors.

The eliminations of Zacarías and Contreras leave Renata Zarazua as the only national exponent alive in the Zapopan Open, where she will have as her first test the Polish Magdalena Frech, current number 97 in the ranking.

If Zarazúa achieves victory, she would face the winner of the series between the Spanish Sara Sorribes and the American Katie Volynets, emphasizing that Sorribes Tormo is the current champion of the Zapopan Open.

Likewise, a win would ensure Zarazúa match their participation from last year in Zapopan, when they advanced to the second round at the expense of Poland’s Katarzyna Kawa, although they were later eliminated by Karolina Schmiedolova of Slovakia. Her best participation was in 2019, when the tournament was still category 125 and she reached the quarterfinals (eliminated by the Czech Marie Bouzkova).

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