Two years ago a 20 year old Renata Zarazou received a wildcard for her home tournament in Acapulco. The Mexican saw off Kristyna Pliskova in round one before losing to Daria Gavrilova in round two.
That small run helped push the Mexican to a career high ranking of 186 in the world a few months later.
Renata plays most of her tennis in qualifying and on the ITF tour and as we know it is difficult to make a living and operate at a profit following all the expenses.
For those players operating outside the top 100 it is tough, Renata plays a majority of her tennis in the USA and South America with it being closer to home. The 22 year old is a fan of clay courts and usually does travel over to Europe to play on the surface too.
Renata was dealt a tough card in round one against top seed Sloane Stephens in Acapulco but a match is never won on paper!
Sloane Stephens is yet to win this year in four matches following a 6-4 6-2 defeat to the Mexican.
In round two it was the battle of the wildcards with Renata up against Katie Volynets from the USA. Katie who recently turned 18 was ranked 482 when the week begun but her second round exit will see her debut in the top 350 in the world.
It was a close battle between the American and the Mexican. Katie took the first set 6-4 but lost the second 5-7 to Renata who ran away in the third winning 6-0.
Following defeats of Venus Williams to Kaja Juvan and defeat of Kaja Juvan to Tamara Zidansek set up a meeting with the Slovenian.
Renata already shown during the week her fearless approach and orchestrated her way through her second top 100 win of the week to progress to her first WTA semi-final!
It wasn’t to be in the semi’s for Renata up against qualifying wildcard Leylah Fernandez but a career high ranking will hopefully set her up nicely for events coming up but has withdrawn from Monterrey qualifying!
image credit – Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HS / WTA