Archive for the 'Sorano Cirstea' Category


Samantha Stosur was the first major casualty at the Australian Open after the home hope was dumped out in straight sets by Sorana Cirstea.


The US Open champion was her own worst enemy as she slumped to a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 defeat against the Romanian. Stosur, the No.6 seed, was guilty of making 33 unforced errors and was on the back foot for long periods. Stosur had been aiming to become Australia’s first women’s champion since Chris O’Neil beat Betsy Nagelsen in 1978. However, the 27-year-old has never looked comfortable dealing with the expectations at Melbourne Park – with Stosur failing to make in past the fourth round since her debut in 2002. And Cirstea, a former French Open quarter-finalist, added to her misery as she sealed victory in 91 minutes. The 21-year-old, who impressed with her looping forehands and work at the net, finally clinched her place in the second round with her fourth match point.

“Probably the whole of Australia hates me right now,” Cirstea said. “I think everyone was talking about her and they were forgetting about me.” Stosur’s defeat was perhaps not totally unexpected, following as it did hot on the heels of a second-round exit in Brisbane and a first-round loss in Sydney. Stosur said: “I am extremely disappointed. It’s certainly not what I wanted, not just this tournament but the whole (Australian) summer. “I think it was one of those matches where I wasn’t taking charge and she was playing super aggressive. “She would either hit great balls or could miss by a long way. “She hung in there and kept going for it and eventually got better and better. She played a very, very good match and you have to give credit where it’s due.” As for the pressure on her shoulders coming into the event, she added: “There’s probably nothing greater than my own expectation. “I really, really wanted to do well here and over the summer and I did everything I could to try to give myself a good opportunity. But it obviously didn’t happen. “I know everyone was behind me and it’s disappointing that I won’t get another chance to step out on court.”

Cirstea added that as the underdog, she had ben free to play without any pressure on her shoulders. “Of course, it’s a big win, but I’m staying with my feet on the ground because I know today I went on the court, no pressure, she had the pressure,” the Romanian added. “I had nothing to lose. “But now things are changing a little bit. Now people are going to expect me to win (my) next match.” That will be against Poland’s Urszula Radwanska.




Kuznetsova wins the opener at 2010 French Open.

Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova overcame a sluggish opening to get her French Open title defence off to a winning start.

Sorana Cirstea – a quarter-finalist in Paris 12 months ago – was a tricky first-round opponent, especially for a player who arrived a Roland Garros having lost three straight matches on the WTA Tour.

And the early stages of the contest on Court Philippe Chatrier suggested a shock could be on the cards.

The Russian lost her opening service game and was soon 3-0 down as the errors flowed from her racquet.

However, she soon settled down and rattled off six straight games to turn the set around, winning it in 38 minutes.

Victoria Azarenka, the 10th seed, became the first big-name casualty at this year’s French Open on Sunday.

The Belarusian was thrashed 6-1 6-2 by Argentina’s Gisela Dulko on Court Suzanne Lenglen at Roland Garros.

Azarenka has been suffering with a groin injury of late and clearly was below her best against an opponent ranked 34 places below her in the world at 45th.

Her serve came under constant threat – she was broken five times in total – as Dulko dominated affairs.

It was a sorry way to go out for Azarenka, who made the quarter-finals at this tournament in 2009.


Seeded players fall in 2nd round in Barcelona.

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez suffered a surprise second-round defeat by wildcard entry Arantxa Parra Santonja on a day of upsets at the Barcelona Ladies Open.

Martinez Sanchez, the world 27 and top-ranked Spaniard, lost to her compatriot 5-7 6-3 7-5 to crash out in front of her home fans.

The 27-year-old was not the only notable player to fall as fourth seed Maria Kirilenko and fifth seed Sorana Cirstea followed her out of the draw.

Kirilenko, a finalist here last year, was beaten in three sets by Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6 6-2 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes while Cirstea was cast aside 6-1 6-4 by Czech Iveta Benesova.

There were no such problems for top seed Francesca Schiavone with the Italian cruising to a 6-4 6-3 success against Tathiana Garbin.

Schiavone was joined in the third round by her countrywoman Roberta Vinci, the defending champion, who beat another Spanish wildcard Laura Pous Tio 4-6 6-0 6-3.

A third Italian, Sara Errani, was narrowly beaten 2-6 6-3 7-6 (7/5) by Alexandra Dulgheru.

Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky fought back to beat Regina Kulikova 2-6 6-2 6-3 while local hopeful Carla Suarez Navarro was too good for Kristina Barrois 6-3 7-5 in the day’s final match.


Cirstea surprises Stosur as Aussies lose.

Top seeds Australia suffered a surprise defeat to Romania on the opening day of the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Sorana Cirstea, 19, was the star for the Romanians, beating world number 13 Sam Stosur 3-6 6-4 6-3 in the opener.

Former men’s number one Lleyton Hewitt defeated Victor Hanescu 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) to level the tie.

But Cirstea and Hanescu stunned Stosur and Hewitt 7-5 6-1 in the mixed doubles to dent Australia’s hopes of reaching the final.

“For me today was a perfect day,” said Cirstea.

“I had a very good singles match when I beat Sam who is 13 in the world and then going out and playing mixed with Victor for the first time and winning – I cannot expect more than this.”


Cirstea kicks off Hopman Cup against Stosur.

Hopman Cup No. 1 seeds Australia begin this year’s tournament against a talented Romanian team on Saturday inside Perth’s Burswood Dome.

Australia’s Samantha Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt come into the Cup teaming for the first time, but with Stosur ranked 13 in the world and with 22 doubles titles to her credit and Hewitt ranked 22 with Grand Slam singles and doubles titles, they were deemed the top seeds this year.

Their first-up test is Romania’s Sorana Cirstea and Victor Hanescu, and they will be no pushovers. Cirstea is a rising star at 19 years of age and rose to as high as 23 in the world during 2009, while Hanescu is an ATP Tour veteran and spent most of last year inside the world’s top 30.

This year’s Cup will begin with Stosur taking on Cirstea for the third time of their careers on Saturday morning at 10am.

The pair met twice in 2009 with the Australian victorious on both occasions. The first came in the French Open when Stosur triumphed 6-1, 6-3 in the quarter finals in what was a Grand Slam best effort by both.

They again met in the semi-final on hardcourt in the US summer and again Stosur won in straight-sets, 6-3, 6-2.

Stosur knows that the 19-year-old Romanian has plenty of talent, though, and will provide for a tough contest.

“She hits the ball cleanly, nice and hard and flat, and has a really good forehand,” Stosur said.

“We’ve played each other a couple of times last year, once on clay and once on hardcourt, and we’re on hardcourt again so I have a bit of a feel of what to expect.”

The men’s singles will be just the second time that Hewitt and Hanescu have met, and the first time since the 2003 US Open. On that occasion, Hewitt prevailed in straight-sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, but Hanescu has the game to trouble the former world No. 1.

Hanescu is coming off his best year and stands at 1.98m, so will be a difficult opponent for Hewitt, but he knows that and just loves representing his country. He is impressed by the quality of the field this year as well.

“There’s nothing better than playing for Australia anywhere, and any time I get to play for my country is fantastic. I’ve had some great results in Davis Cup, at the Olympics and here at the Hopman Cup,” Hewitt said.

“To have guys like Murray, Kohlschreiber, Robredo and John Isner, it’s a good mixture of different players for me to play against. The three guys I’ve got in my group are totally different players so I’m going to have to adjust my game and that won’t be easy every second day.”

The mixed doubles will also be interesting with all four players having some good doubles results over their careers.

Stosur has won 22 titles in total including the French Open (2006) and US Open (2005), and Hewitt also won the 2000 US Open with Max Mirnyi. Cirstea won two titles on the WTA Tour in doubles in 2008 and Hanescu also earned a doubles title win during 2008.

As the host-nation of the Hopman Cup, Australia has competed at all 21 tournaments in Perth but has only won once when Jelena Dokic and Mark Philippoussis triumphed in 1999. There have been three other Final appearances that have caused mixed results.

At the very first Hopman Cup, Hana Mandlikova and this year’s VIP Guest Pat Cash lost the Final to Czechoslovakia.

Then when Hewitt teamed with Alicia Molik they qualified for the Final twice only to be beaten by Serena Williams and James Blake in 2003 and then were forced to pull out due to a Molik foot injury the next year after qualifying for the Final. That was after they had won their first two Ties in 2002 as well before Hewitt fell ill with chicken pox.

Luck hasn’t always been on Australia’s side at the Hyundai Hopman Cup, but both Stosur and Hewitt arrive this year at the top of their games after terrific 2009 years. They also play well inside the Burswood Dome.

Hewitt has played four times previously to earn himself a 9-3 win-loss record in singles and 5-4 in the mixed doubles, which wasn’t helped by losing all three mixed encounters last year with Casey Dellacqua in the Match Tie-break.

Stosur played just the once in 2006 when she won all three of her singles matches, but lost her partner when Wayne Arthurs was injured.

Romania is only playing the Hopman Cup for the third time. The first was 1997 when Irina Spirlea and Adrian Voinea teamed to win a Tie over Germany, but lose to Switzerland and South Africa. Spirlea returned in 1998 with Dinu Pescariu but lost the playoff to the Slovak Republic’s Karina Habsudova and Karol Kucera.


Monday’s match could put Wozniacki on track to the final.

_woz 22On Saturday night at the 2009 US Open in Flushing, New York, Caroline took on doubles partner Sorana Cirstea for their third round match played on Louis Armstrong Stadium. After recently falling to Cirstea in Los Angeles, Caroline was look to avenge her loss and did so by dismissing Cirstea in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

Up next, Caroline will take on #6 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Round of 16 and will play on Labor Day (Monday, September 7th). Caroline and Cirstea will also be back in the doubles action on Sunday when they take on #4 seeds Venus and Serena Williams to play for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Her match with Kuznetsova could determine the winner of the top half of the draw, and a place in the final. The bottom half of the draw has both Williams sisters, Clijsters and Pennetta, although either Venus of Kim Clijsters will be gone today.


Stosur moves into tomorrow’s final.

samantha sSamantha Stosur was much too strong for Sorano Cirstea in their semi final match today. She crushed her young opponent 6-3, 6-2 with a mixture of great serving, precision forehands and her court ability to read her opponents mind. Stosur’s doubles experience is evident everytime she plays, and she’s rarely caught out of position. She has by far the best half-volley game of any player on tour either man or woman. She is through to the final and looking to win her first singles WTA title. She will tough to beat for either Maria Sharapova or Flavia Pennetta.


Sorano Cirstea one of today’s semi finalists.


The Gaz de France Budapest Grand Prix will hold very special memories for 17-year-old Sorana Cirstea for years to come. The Romanian enjoyed a magical run in the Hungarian capital, reaching the final, where she fought bravely before falling to No.6 seed Gisela Dulko in three tough sets. The feat is all the more impressive considering the tournament was only her third Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event.

Where is your hometown and where do you live now?

SC: I was born in Bucharest, but now I live somewhere called Targoziste, which is about 70 kilometres from the capital. Now I train here and I guess this is the place I call home for now.

Tell us a little bit about your family?

SC: I have a really close knit family and they have always given me so much support. My mum and dad have always followed tennis and they encouraged me to start playing the sport when I was young. They’re the reason I started to play tennis and I guess they are the ones I should thank for getting me into it. They have always supported me, whether I won or lost and have always been there for me. I think it’s great to have support like that and I think I’m really lucky to have such a supportive family.

How is tennis doing in Romania?

SC: I don’t think it is as popular as football, but we have some great history in the sport and I think it’s growing in popularity. I hope more kids will start to play and tennis can really grow.

How do you feel about the transition to the pro circuit from the juniors?

SC: The women are much more serious and focused on their tennis. You have to concentrate all the time and the mental part of the game is so important. If you switch off for even a little while, suddenly you are down a set. It’s tough, but I enjoy the challenge.

Tell us about your wins in the Budapest Grand Prix?

SC: I have really good memories from every match. Three of my wins were over Top 100 girls and every match had meaning for me. This was an incredible week. I wasn’t expecting to be in the final. I think at the end I was a little drained after so many tough matches, but I have gained so much experience and I can’t wait to come back next year!

How would you describe your playing style?

SC: I would say I’m an aggressive baseliner and I like to hit my groundstrokes hard and flat on both sides. My groundstrokes are my biggest weapon and I like to be in charge of the rallies. I’m always trying to work on my game and improve in every training session. I’ve been working on my movement as much as possible recently because it’s crucial if I want to progress. I’ve also been trying to work on the mental part of the game, as I feel it makes a big difference the further you go in tennis.

What kinds of things do you like to do for fun off the court?

SC: It’s difficult to relax like most of my friends do I guess because I’m so often away from home. But when I’m home I think I just do regular stuff. I like to go to movies with my friends and go shopping whenever I can. I’m just a typical girl!

What do you think you would have done if you hadn’t become a tennis player?

SC: I’m not really sure, as this is what I’ve always wanted to do. Since I was four years old it’s been my dream. Ever since I was a little girl it’s what I have always focused on and I gradually became more and more serious. I guess if I hadn’t, maybe I would have liked to be a model!

Did you or do you still have any favourite players?

SC: I really liked Steffi Graf when I was growing up. All my family were massive fans and we would watch all her matches. Steffi was just the best. Now, I don’t really have any favourite players. On the men’s tour I like to watch Federer because he is so talented and he is such a great match player.

Do you enjoy the traveling that comes with your job?

SC: Yes, I love it. It’s just like a dream. Sometimes it’s difficult never staying in one place and missing my friends. But it’s also so amazing to see so many great places and cities. I especially love London and New York; I can’t wait to go back there. Both cities are just so exciting and full of life.

What are your goals in tennis?

SC: I really just want to keep on improving, always moving forward. One step at a time, first make the Top 100, then Top 50 and hopefully even better. But the most important thing is that I always want to improve my game and hopefully I can have some success along the way.


Final four set for LA Championship.

Samantha-Stosur-Wimbledon-2009-Day-Four_2321707Australian doubles specialist Sam Stosur remained on course for a maiden singles title with a battling three-set triumph over Zheng Jie in the quarter-finals of the LA Women’s Tennis Championships.

Stosur fought back from a set down to defeat the 14th-seeded Chinese player, who had ousted top seed Dinara Safina on Thursday, 4-6 6-3 6-4 in just over two hours.

Stosur, seeded 13, will take on Sorana Cirstea in the last four.

The Romanian advanced courtesy of a 7-6 (7/4) 1-6 7-5 win against eighth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska.

The two have met once before with Stosur winning 6-1 6-3 in the quarter-finals of the French Open in June.

It was not a good day for the Radwanska sisters with younger sibling Urszula following Agnieszka out of the competition in the evening as Maria Sharapova’s comeback gathered pace.

The Russian, who recently returned to the tour following 10 months out with a shoulder injury, triumphed 6-4 7-5 to earn a last-four meeting with Flavia Pennetta.

The Italian beat Russia’s Vera Zvonareva 6-4 6-2.


Sorano Cirstea surprises Jankovic.

_soranoJelena Jankovic was two points from winning, just two points from overcoming a disastrous second set and reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open.

It was two points too many.

The fifth-seeded Jankovic instead lost to Sorana Cirstea of Romania 3-6, 6-0, 9-7 Monday in the fourth round.

“I should have won that,” said Jankovic, who won the first two points on serve while leading 5-4 in the third set. “I had 30-love, and what more can I ask for myself? All of a sudden, point by point, and the game went in her favor and everything got complicated.”

Cirstea started her comeback in that game with a forehand winner into the corner. Jankovic stared at the spot for several seconds—not the first time and not the last time she would do that Monday on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

The Romanian, the first woman from her country to reach the quarterfinals at a major tournament since Irina Spirlea made the U.S. Open semifinals in 1997, then took the score to 30-30 with a backhand volley. She eventually broke Jankovic to stay in the match when the Serb first sent a backhand and then a forehand long.

“I should have went more for my shots and reached a little more and tried to finish off the match point by point,” Jankovic said. “Didn’t go in my favor. Really tough match and tough loss for me.”

In the second set, Jankovic said she had pain in her left foot. She even called for a trainer to look at it, but continued to play.

“It was hurting me inside (the shoe), but after that it was fine,” said Jankovic, who has also complained about abdominal pain at this year’s tournament. “I forgot about it.”

Both players were going for the lines in the third set, with Jankovic hitting some and then drawing boos from the crowd when she questioned calls made against her.

“I knew it was also a little bit mental, who is going to stay stronger,” Cirstea said. “And I was just trying to keep the energy coming and just try to hit and keep the points shorter.”

Twice, points were replayed, one in favor of each player.

Jankovic, a former top-ranked player who has yet to win a Grand Slam title, is the latest high-profile upset at this year’s French Open. She follows Ana Ivanovic, Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic out of the tournament before the quarterfinal stage.

“The way you play, this is the result you’re going to have at the end of the day,” Jankovic said. “That’s all I can say.”

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