Sorana Cirstea Rolls Back The Years To Stun Konta - UBITENNIS
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Sorana Cirstea Rolls Back The Years To Stun Konta

Sorana Cirstea produced her best performance since 2017 to defeat ninth seed Johanna Konta 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4 at the 2020 US Open.

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Sorana Cirstea produced her best performance since 2017 to defeat ninth seed Johanna Konta 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4 at the 2020 US Open.

 

In October of that year, the Romanian, 30, beat World No.4 Karolina Pliskova 6-1 7-5 Beijing. She also knocked World No.12 Carla Suarez Navarro out of the 2017 Australian Open.

Wins like these for Cirstea have been rare events in recent seasons. She has always been a dangerous opponent due to her ability to hit winners from the back of the court. Early on in her career, she held a high ranking of 21 and frequently beat top-10 players.

Unfortunately for the Romanian, a series of niggling injuries in 2014 and 2015 halted her momentum, and she has struggled to reach the same levels since.

However, it is never too late for a revival. Cirstea still has plenty of talent, and she showed all of it during her comeback from a set down to beat Konta. This was something the Brit was keen to point out during her press conference.

“My level was a lot higher than hers in the first set,” Konta said. “But she’s a great player. She’s had some pretty amazing results in the past in her career. She’s capable of playing some very good tennis.”

The Brit continued, “What we’ve seen time and time again in every tournament is that these are the best players in the world, so on any given day they can play incredible tennis. Obviously, the higher you are ranked, the more consistently you are able to play that level. However, everybody’s capable to play some really amazing tennis. That’s what she did.”

Cirstea pulls off superb comeback

Johanna Konta (@settenisok on Twitter)

As Konta alluded to, the Romanian raised her game significantly after she lost the first set. She served much better and continued her game plan of attacking the Brit’s second serve.

This bold returning strategy enabled Cirstea to break back immediately after she dropped her serve. And her improved serving meant that she was able to keep pace with Konta throughout the set.

In the eventual tie-break, the Romanian played superbly. She struck a couple of excellent winners from the back of the court and served well when she needed to.

Cirstea lifted her level even further in the decider. She continued to take Konta’s second serve apart, whilst also making inroads against the Brit’s first serve. She also hit 16 winners and made just eight unforced errors during the set.

The ninth seed fought hard to stay in it. But she could not cope with the Romanian’s onslaught for long. Cirstea earned the decisive break in game seven, then clinched a deserved victory with a love hold three games later.

If the Romanian wants to continue her impressive run at this year’s US Open, she will have to perform as well as she did in the last two sets today. Her next opponent will be 20th seed Karolina Muchova, who beat Anna Kalinskaya 6-3 7-6(4).

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Iga Swiatek double bagels Karolina Pliskova to win Rome

Iga Swiatek dominated Karolina Pliskova for 46 minutes to win the Rome title.

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Iga Swiatek (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek is the 2021 BNL D’Italia Open champion after beating Karolina Pliskova, the number ninth seed, in 46 minutes. The Pole thrashed her opponent 6-0, 6-0 with the help of 17 winners as she lost only 13 points the entire match.

 

“I’m really happy, I’m kinda overwhelmed because at the beginning of this tournament I wouldn’t even dream of winning and it was super tough, we have to fight and obviously Karolina (Pliskova) had a great run here,” said Swiatek.

The number 15 seed got off to the best possible start having no issues in her opening service game and in the following game it was visible her Czech opponent was having issues with her serve.

Pliskova would serve a double fault to give the first breakpoint of the match and the Pole took to take an early 2-0 lead and from there it was one way traffic.

The number nine once again would double fault to gift another breakpoint at 3-0 and the 19 year old pounced with her powerful forehand to go up a double break and would break one more time to seal the first set in 19 minutes.

Fans at the Foro Italico were expecting a response in the second set from Pliskova but it was utter dominance from the Pole and again the number nine seed again struggled with her serve double faulting on breakpoint at 1-0 to once again give the early break.

There was a mini fight back from the Czech at 2-0 when she managed to earn two breakpoints to try and get back in the match but the number 15 seed would save both and hold serve.

The next game she continued to attack and play her aggressive game style earning two more breakpoints and breaking one more time to take a 4-0 lead and you could sense this match was going to be over very quickly.

Swiatek would seal the win with another one of her trademark forehand winners to take the match and the title which will boost her on Monday to number nine in the world and her first appearance in the top 10.

After the match Pliskova admitted today was not her day, “You have days like this in where things are not going your way,” Pliskova said in her trophy ceremony speech.

“That was the day today I still tried but it was not working for me. I will just quickly forget about today. I had some great matches here. Final is always a great week, great tournament.”

Both players will now head to Roland Garros with Swiatek looking to successfully defend her title.

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Iga Swiatek Completes Double Duty To Reach Rome Final

Iga Swiatek has set up a final showdown with Karolina Pliskova in Rome.

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Iga Swiatek (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek reached her first Rome final with a 7-6(3) 6-3 win over Coco Gauff.

 

The Pole made her first WTA1000 final after completing her second win of the day in convincing fashion.

Swiatek will now play Karolina Pliskova in tomorrow’s final after she beat Petra Martic in the first semi-final.

The first set set the standard for the match with ridiculous shot-making from the off as both players settled into the match quickly.

It was Swiatek though who grabbed the first break of the match as she forced some unforced errors out of the young American.

Gauff’s hard hitting and athleticism meant that she was far from out of the match as she managed to hit several winners and punch holes through the Pole’s game.

Eventually the 17 year-old managed to break back as the Roland Garros champion’s power had decreased and more unforced errors crept into her game.

However in the first set the Pole won five of her six service games when she was down in the game and that mental advantage in pressure points was crucial as she ensured that the first set was heading towards a tiebreak.

More solid play from the Pole and better tactical play ensured that Gauff hit a flurry of unforced errors and Swiatek won seven of the ten points available to take the opening set in 1 hour.

In the second set, Swiatek’s confidence was on full show with an improvised forward tweener and efficient serves put the American under really pressure.

https://twitter.com/tennis_gifs/status/1393584244639797254

Inevitably the pressure told as a double fault handed the world number 15 the crucial break for a 3-1 lead.

If that was impressive then, the hold after was even more impressive as the Pole withstood some ferocious firepower especially from the backhand side to save two break points and consolidate the break.

Swiatek produced another break as her all-round consistency was too solid for Gauff’s power and ferociousness in the fore court.

The Pole produced some late jitters as Gauff did well to apply pressure on the Roland Garros champion, a double fault while serving for the match handed the American a lifeline.

However it was only a lifeline as Swiatek completed victory to move into her first WTA 1000 final.

It was a confident performance as she moves into the final in what is ideal preparation for her Roland Garros title defence.

She will now play Karolina Pliskova in tomorrow’s final after the Czech Republican reached her third consecutive Rome final with a 6-1 2-6 6-3 win over Petra Martic.

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Iga Swiatek upsets Svitolina to reach semis in Rome

Iga Swiatek beat Elina Svitolina to rack up her first top 10 win of the season to reach the Rome semi-finals.

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Iga Swiatek (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

The Polish teenager upset the number five seed in straight sets to reach the final four in Rome.

 

Iga Swiatek continues to rack up the wins against the top 10 players in the world, this time against the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina beating her 6-2, 7-5 to reach the semifinals of the BNL D’Italia Open in Rome.

She got off to the best possible start using her speed and aggressive groundstrokes to hold her opening service game and the very next game went on the attack earning two breakpoints with a sublime forehand return winner.

The number five would save both before succumbing to a third when the number 15 seed pulled out a powerful forehand winner to take an early 2-0 lead.

The Odessa, Ukraine native had a chance to get back in the set earning her first breakpoint of the match at 3-1 but again it was the 19 year old would come up with the goods to save it.

When serving to stay in the first set at 5-2 the number 15 seed continued to pressure the Ukrainian serve and earned three sets points which she would convert on to take the first set.

It was the number five seed who would earn the first chance to break in the second set with a forehand winner of her very own but again was denied by the Polish teenager.

The Ukrainian would finally get the breakthrough to take a 2-1 lead but Swiatek would respond the very next game breaking right back using her backhand this time.

After holding serve the Pole had a chance to take the lead once again and the number five seed would double fault twice in a row to once again get broken and trail 4-2.

Just like earlier in the set the Ukrainian would bounce back the very next game breaking right back and it would stay on serve until 6-5 with the number five seed serving to stay in the match.

The Pole would earn two match points and convert on her first chance to take the set and the match setting up a semifinal later today against Coco Gauff who was able to finish her match yesterday.

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