Cîrstea at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships
|Born||7 April 1990|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Coach||Carl Maes& Andrei Cociasu|
|Career record||416–308 (57.5%)|
|Career titles||1 WTA, 8 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 21 (12 August 2013)|
|Current ranking||No. 75 (30 September 2019)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||4R (2017)|
|French Open||QF (2009)|
|Wimbledon||3R (2009, 2012, 2017)|
|US Open||3R (2009, 2019)|
|Career record||144–117 (55.2%)|
|Career titles||5 WTA, 9 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 35 (9 March 2009)|
|Current ranking||No. 143 (30 September 2019)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2009)|
|French Open||3R (2008, 2018)|
|US Open||3R (2009)|
|Last updated on: 15 December 2018.|
Sorana Mihaela Cîrstea (Romanian pronunciation: [soˈrana ˈkɨrste̯a]; born 7 April 1990) is a Romanian tennis player. In singles, she achieved her career-high ranking of world No. 21 on 12 August 2013. In doubles, her career-high ranking is world No. 35, which she reached on 9 March 2009. Her biggest achievements have been reaching the quarterfinals at the 2009 French Open and reaching the final at the 2013 Rogers Cup. Over her career, Cîrstea has defeated top ten players Anna Chakvetadze, Sara Errani, Jelena Janković, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitová, Li Na, Karolína Plíšková, Francesca Schiavone, Sam Stosur, Caroline Wozniacki, and Vera Zvonareva.
- 1 Playing style
- 2 Early and personal life
- 3 Career
- 3.1 2005–2006: Last junior years and turning professional
- 3.2 2007–2008: First WTA title and reaching top 40
- 3.3 2009: First Grand Slam quarterfinals at Roland Garros
- 3.4 2010: Struggles with form
- 3.5 2011: Re-entering top 60
- 3.6 2012: Ascent to top 30
- 3.7 2013: First Premier 5 final and career-best ranking at No. 21
- 3.8 2014: Injuries and Fed Cup success
- 3.9 2015: Out of the top 100
- 3.10 2016: Comeback to top 100 and first Premier Mandatory quarterfinals
- 3.11 2017: Australian Open round of 16
- 4 Accolades
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 Significant finals
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Cîrstea is a power player. Her groundstrokes are often erratic with an emphasis on going for a winner leading her to make a high amount of unforced errors per match but with a high number of winners. According to the Tennis Spy, her long stride means she covers ground while not appearing to move particularly quickly. As a doubles player, she is also a very solid volleyer. Her forehands and backhands are delivered quickly on both sides.
Early and personal life
Cîrstea was born to Mihai and Liliana in Bucharest, but currently resides in Târgoviște where her parents are from. She also has a younger brother, Mihnea. Cîrstea was introduced to tennis at the age of four by her mother. Sorana's father owns an ice cream factory in Târgoviște. She has cited Steffi Graf and Roger Federer as her idols.
2005–2006: Last junior years and turning professional
Cîrstea is a former ITF Junior Circuit top-ten player, reaching her highest ranking of No. 6 on 26 June 2006. Her best results include a title in the 2005 German Junior Open (Grade 1), defeating Erika Zanchetta 6–2, 6–7, 6–3 in the final, a tournament in which she was finalist the year before, and a runner-up place in the 2006 Trofeo Bonfiglio (Grade A), where she lost in the final to her compatriot Ioana Raluca Olaru after having defeated the top-ranked world junior player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semi-finals. She also made final appearances at the year-ending ITF Grade 1 juniors tournaments, Eddie Herr International, and Yucatán World Cup in 2005 and 2006, and in the Opus Nottinghill International in 2006.
She turned professional in 2006 and ended the year at No. 353 in the WTA rankings.
2007–2008: First WTA title and reaching top 40
In April 2007, she reached the final of the Budapest Grand Prix, a Tier III event, as a qualifier. All of her main draw matches went to three sets. She beat Martina Müller in the second round, Eleni Daniilidou in the quarterfinals and Karin Knapp in the semifinals before losing to Gisela Dulko in the final. She was the first Romanian to reach a Tour final since Ruxandra Dragomir in June 2000. During her run, she beat two players ranked inside the WTA top 40. Next month, Cîrstea played in the junior tournament of the 2007 French Open where she reached the doubles final with Alexa Glatch, losing to the third seeds Ksenia Milevskaya and Urszula Radwańska.
She competed for Romania in the women's singles at the 2008 Summer Olympics, losing in the first round to Sahar Pe'er. In October 2008, Cîrstea won her first WTA title in Tashkent by defeating fourth seed and world No. 64 Sabine Lisicki in three sets. She also won her first two WTA titles in doubles that year. At the end of 2008, she was No. 36 in the WTA singles rankings and the No. 1 Romanian, aged only 18 years.
2009: First Grand Slam quarterfinals at Roland Garros
Cîrstea began by losing to Dinara Safina at the Medibank International in Sydney in straight sets. In the doubles tournament, she partnered Vera Dushevina and reached the second round, defeating Kuznetsova/Petrova before losing to Black/Huber. At the Australian Open, she lost in the first round of the singles tournament to Melinda Czink, but reached the second round of the doubles with Monica Niculescu, defeating Ditty/Gullickson and losing to Dechy/Santangelo.
Cîrstea lost in the first rounds of the Open GDF Suez and Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, to Nathalie Dechy and Dominika Cibulková respectively. In doubles, she again partnered Monica Niculescu in Suez, reaching the semifinals before injury forced them to lose in a walkover to Peschke/Raymond. In Dubai, she partnered Arina Rodionova and lost in the first round to Kirilenko/Radwańska. Cîrstea received a bye in the first round at Indian Wells, but lost in the second round to Elena Vesnina. In the doubles tournament, she partnered Galina Voskoboeva and lost in the first round to Mattek-Sands/Washington. Cîrstea finished her hardcourt season with a loss in the first round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami to the qualifier Mariya Koryttseva. Her doubles effort in Miami with Caroline Wozniacki also ended in the first round with a loss to Kuznetsova/Mauresmo.
Cîrstea's clay season began at the inaugural Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella. She reached the semi-finals, defeating Ioana Olaru, Andreja Klepač and Kaia Kanepi before losing to Carla Suárez Navarro. In the doubles, she partnered Ioana Olaru and reached the quarter-finals, before losing to Hercog/Ulirova. At the Barcelona Ladies Open in April, Cîrstea lost in the first round of the singles tournament to Anastasiya Yakimova, but reached the finals of the doubles tournament with Andreja Klepač. They defeated Grönefeld/Senoglu, Ani/Voráčová, and Hlaváčková/Hradecká, before falling to Vives/Sanchez in the final 6–3, 2–6, [8–10]. A week later, at Fes, Cîrstea again lost in the first round of the singles tournament, to Lourdes Domínguez Lino, and again reached the finals of the doubles tournament, with Maria Kirilenko. Cîrstea/Kirilenko defeated Fernandez-Brugues/Thorpe, Czink/Keothavong, and Hercog/Olaru, before losing to Kleybanova/Makarova in three sets.
At the Estoril Open, Cîrstea reached the quarter-finals of the singles tournament, defeating Kimiko Date-Krumm and Maret Ani, before falling to the eventual champion Yanina Wickmayer. In the doubles, she again partnered Kirilenko, defeating Ivanova/Yakimova, before losing to Coin/Pelletier in the quarterfinals. At Madrid, she lost in the first rounds of both the singles and the doubles tournaments, falling to Alona Bondarenko 2–6, 2–6, in the singles and partnering Vladimíra Uhlířová in the doubles to lose to Makarova/Kudrayvtseva 6–2, 6–7, [3–10].
Cîrstea then had her breakthrough tournament at the French Open. She began with wins over Carly Gullickson and an upset of the 21st seed Alizé Cornet to advance to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time. She then defeated her doubles partner Caroline Wozniacki, the tenth seed, 7–6, 7–5. Cîrstea continued her unlikely run with a 3–6, 6–0, 9–7 upset over the fifth-seeded Jelena Janković to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final, where she faced the 30th seed Samantha Stosur, losing 1–6, 3–6. Her doubles effort with Wozniacki ended in the first round with a 4–6, 4–6 loss to Pennetta/Kirilenko.
At the Ordina Open in the Netherlands, she defeated Niculescu in three sets but lost in the second round to Yanina Wickmayer. She paired with Dinara Safina for the doubles tournament, defeating Grönefeld/Niculescu in the first round and losing to Errani/Pennetta in the second round. At Wimbledon, Cîrstea was seeded 28th. She defeated Edina Gallovits and Sania Mirza in the first two rounds, but lost 6–7, 3–6 to the eighth seed Victoria Azarenka in the third round. In the doubles, she once again partnered Wozniacki, but lost in the second round to Koryttseva/Poutchek. At the Swedish Open in Båstad, Cîrstea defeated the qualifier Johanna Larsson before losing to Gisela Dulko in the second round. She partnered Wozniacki in the doubles, losing in the second round to Kondratieva/Lefevre. Two weeks later, Cîrstea lost in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic to Agnieszka Radwańska. Partnering Maria Kirilenko, she reached the semi-finals of the doubles, defeating Granville/Gullickson and Coin/Pelletier, before losing to Chan/Niculescu.
Cîrstea had another improbable run at the LA Women's Championships in August. She upset Wozniacki and Radwańska, despite Radwańska serving for the match in the third set, but lost to Stosur in the semi-finals. Cîrstea/Wozniacki lost in the first round of the doubles to Chang/Yan. At the Cincinnati Masters, she defeated Meghann Shaughnessy and Anna-Lena Grönefeld before losing to the 4th seed Elena Dementieva, but achieved a career high ranking of No. 23. At the US Open, Cîrstea was seeded 24th. She defeated Ayumi Morita and Stéphanie Dubois before losing in the third round to the eventual finalist Wozniacki, the No. 9 seed and her doubles partner. Cîrstea/Wozniacki defeated Bammer/Schruff and Azarenka/Zvonareva before losing in the third round to the eventual champions, Williams/Williams. After the US Open, Cîrstea lost her next five matches, in the Hansol Korea Open, Toray Pan Pacific Open, China Open, Generali Ladies and Kremlin Cup.
She finished 2009 ranked 43rd in the world with a 21–24 match record.
2010: Struggles with form
In the 2010 Hopman Cup in early January, Cîrstea played with Victor Hănescu. Romania were seeded sixth and finished last in their group, winning against the Australian team of Samantha Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt, but losing to the Spain's María José Martínez Sánchez and Tommy Robredo, the eventual champions, and the American team of Melanie Oudin and John Isner. Cîrstea posted a 3–6, 6–4, 6–3 win over Stosur and, with Hanescu, a 7–5, 6–1 win over Stosur and Hewitt. She lost in straight sets to Martínez Sánchez and Oudin.
She lost in the first round of the Hobart tournament to Peng Shuai 1–6, 4–6. At the Australian Open, she defeated Olivia Rogowska 6–3, 2–6, 6–2, but lost in the second round to Alisa Kleybanova 4–6, 3–6. She partnered Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the doubles tournament, losing to Kirilenko/Radwańska in the first round 0–6, 7–6, 2–6.
Her next tournament was the Open GDF Suez in Paris, where she fell to Oudin 3–6, 0–6. She lost in straight sets in the first rounds of the Dubai, Acapulco, and Monterrey tournaments, to Francesca Schiavone, Sharon Fichman, and Sara Errani, respectively. At Indian Wells she reached the second round, first defeating Kaia Kanepi 6–7, 6–3, 6–4, before losing to Zheng Jie 3–6, 5–7. In Miami two weeks later at the Sony Ericsson Open, Cîrstea defeated Michelle Larcher de Brito 7–5, 7–6 before losing in the second round to the third seed Venus Williams 4–6, 3–6.
In the clay season, Cîrstea prevailed over the sixth seed Maria Kirilenko in the first round of the Andalucia Tennis Experience 4–6, 7–6, 6–4. She then lost in the second round to her fellow Romanian Simona Halep 4–6, 6–7. At the Barcelona Ladies Open she defeated Tamira Paszek 6–4, 7–6, but lost in the second round to Iveta Benešová 1–6, 4–6. Cîrstea was seeded 2nd at the Estoril Open and defeated her compatriot Ioana Olaru 6–3, 3–6, 6–1 in the first round and Larcher de Brito 7–5, 7–5 in the second. In the quarterfinals, she beat Arantxa Rus 6–4, 6–1, but fell to Arantxa Parra Santonja, 6–1, 6–4 in the semi-finals. In the doubles, she partnered Anabel Medina Garrigues to win the tournament, beating Peng/Zhang, Manasieva/Olaru and Diatchenko/Vedy. Cîrstea lost to Flavia Pennetta 1–6, 6–1, 1–6 in the first round of the Madrid tournament in May. Two weeks later, she qualified for the Strasbourg tournament, losing to Elena Baltacha 3–6, 5–7 in the first round.
At the French Open, she lost in the first round to the defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 3–6, 1–6. At Eastbourne she defeated Francesca Schiavone 7–5, 6–3, losing in the second round to Kuznetsova 6–4, 6–7, 6–7. At Wimbledon she was defeated by Petra Kvitová in the first round. At the GdF Suez Grand Prix she lost in the first round to the qualifier Zuzana Ondrášková. She lost in the quarter-finals at the İstanbul Cup to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and the e-Boks Danish Open to Klára Zakopalová. At the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women's Open, she lost in the first round to Sybille Bammer. At the US Open, Cîrstea lost to Sofia Arvidsson in the first round.
She ended the year placed 93rd in the WTA rankings.
2011: Re-entering top 60
At the Australian Open, Cîrstea defeated Mirjana Lučić of Croatia 6–4, 6–2 before she was beaten by Shahar Pe'er of Israel in the second round 6–3, 6–2. In the doubles tournament, she played with Lucie Šafářová of the Czech Republic and defeated the team of Sarah Borwell of Germany and Marie-Ève Pelletier of Canada 5–7, 6–2, 6–2. In the second round they lost to Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Anastasia Rodionova of Australia 4–6, 5–7.
In the Cellular South Cup, Cîrstea defeated Catherine Harrison in the first round 6–4, 6–2, before she lost to Shahar Pe'er 3–6, 2–6 in the second round. In doubles she and her partner Anastasia Pivovarova lost in the first round to Andrea Hlaváčková/Lucie Hradecká 3–6, 2–6. At the 2011 Abierto Mexicano Telcel, Cîrstea defeated Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6–2, 6–4 before she lost to Laura Pous Tió 2–6, 1–6. Sorana played doubles again now with Andreja Klepač as a partner. They won the first round by defeated Eleni Daniilidou/Jasmin Wöhr 6–2, 6–0. They lost in the second round to Irina-Camelia Begu/Alexandra Panova 4–6, 6–3, [7–10]. Cîrstea qualified in singles for the BNP Paribas Open. In the first round she lost 6–3, 3–6, 3–6 to Alla Kudryavtseva. In the Sony Ericsson Open, Sorana received a wildcard in singles, but lost 6–3, 1–6, 6–7 in the first round to Zheng Jie of China.
At the 2011 Andalucia Tennis Experience, she lost in the first round 6–1, 4–6, 2–6 to Sara Errani. She paired with Maria Elena Camerin of Italy for the doubles tournament defeating Alberta Brianti/Aurélie Védy 6–4, 6–1. They lost in the second round to Errani/Vinci 4–6, 7–6, [7–10]. In the following months, Sorana didn't have good results. But she proved she is back in the form as she won Open GDF Suez. It was a $100,000+ tournament with a lot of top-100 players. She beat Patty Schnyder in the first round and compatriot Alexandra Dulgheru in the second in the French Open before losing 2–6, 2–6 to Li Na.
She then made it into the main draw of the Wimbledon Championships, where she lost in straight sets to Pauline Parmentier. Sorana played doubles again with Ayumi Morita of Japan defeating Chia-Jung Chuang/Su-Wei Hsieh 6–4, 6–4. They won their second round 7–5, 6–3 against Sophie Lefèvre/Evgeniya Rodina. They lost in third round to Sabine Lisicki/Sam Stosur 4–6, 3–6.
In Båstad, Sweden at the Collector Swedish Open Women, Cîrstea defeated Mirjana Lučić 7–5, 2–6, 7–5 in the first round. She lost 3–6, 3–6 in the second round to Vesna Dolonts. At the XXIV SNAI Open Internationali Femminili di Tennis di Palermo, Sorana won her first round match against Andrea Hlaváčková 6–3, 6–2. She lost then to Tsvetana Pironkova 6–2, 1–6, 1–6. At the Bucharest ITF of Romania, Cîrstea beat her compatriots Diana Enache and Mădălina Gojnea, before losing in the third round to Laura Pous Tió. She then played in Carlsbad, California, at the Mercury Insurance Open. She was beaten by CoCo Vandeweghe in the first round 7–5, 6–7, 6–3. Next tournament in Cincinnati, Western & Southern Open, she qualified in singles for the main draw. In the first round she defeated Ksenia Pervak 6–4, 3–6, 6–3, but lost in the second to Jill Craybas 4–6, 6–1, 6–7.
In Dallas, the inaugural tournament of Texas Tennis Open, Cîrstea beat Jarmila Gajdošová 3–6, 6–4, 6–2 in the first round, in the second she lost to Aravane Rezaï 2–6, 6–7. She played doubles for the first time with Alberta Brianti of Italy. In the first round they defeated Kateryna Bondarenko/Alona Bondarenko 6–3, 3–6, [11–9] and in the second Andreja Klepač/Tatiana Poutchek 7–6, 6–7, [12–10]. In the semifinal match they beat Sofia Arvidsson/Casey Dellacqua 6–3, 6–3. They won their final match and the title by defeating Alizé Cornet/Pauline Parmentier 7–5, 6–3. Cîrstea won her fourth WTA doubles title, while Brianti won her second. At the US Open, Cîrstea lost in the first round to Yanina Wickmayer. She paired with Ayumi Morita of Japan in doubles. They defeated Casey Dellacqua and Rennae Stubbs in the first round, but lost in the second to María José Martínez Sánchez and Anabel Medina Garrigues.
In Uzkebistan, she defeated Bojana Jovanovski and Aleksandra Krunić, but lost in the third round to Alla Kudryavtseva. Cîrstea played doubles too with Pauline Parmentier, but they lost in the first round to Iryna Brémond/Mandy Minella 2–6, 6–2, [8–10]. Cîrstea won the title in the Open GDF Suez de Bretagne in Saint-Malo, France. She defeated Estrella Cabeza Candela, Eva Fernández Brugués, Laura Pous Tió and Stefanie Vögele, before beating Silvia Soler Espinosa in straight sets. In the Generali Ladies Linz, Cîrstea played in the qualifying draw with great victories. In the first round, she beat Nikola Hofmanova 6–7, 6–0, 6–0, before she beat Silvia Soler Espinosa 2–6, 6–1, 7–5. Then Sorana defeated Anastasia Rodionova 6–1, 6–2 to play in the main singles draw. In the first round, she beat Tamira Paszek 7–5, 6–3. She defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 4th seed of the tournament, 4–6, 6–0, 6–4 in second round. But lost in third round to Lucie Šafářová 5–7, 2–6. In France, Cîrstea won the Open GDF Suez Region Limousin, a $50,000+ Limoges ITF tournament featuring top 100 players. She defeated Paula Ormaechea, Stefanie Vögele, Michaëlla Krajicek, Akgul Amanmuradova, and Sofia Arvidsson.
At the end of the year, she was in 60th place in the WTA rankings.
2012: Ascent to top 30
Cîrstea began 2012 ranked 60 in the world. Her first tournament was in Auckland, New Zealand the ASB Classic. Sorana lost in first round to Flavia Pennetta. In doubles she partnered with Darija Jurak of Croatia; they lost a first-round match to Kristina Barrois/Anna-Lena Grönefeld. At the Moorilla Hobart International, Cîrstea defeated Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan in first round . In second round, Cîrstea beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States of America. In third round, Cîrstea lost to Angelique Kerber despite having two match points. In doubles, she paired again with Darija Jurak of Croatia. They beat Kristina Barrois/Jasmin Wöhr in straight sets. Cîrstea/Jurak lost in second round to Irina-Camelia Begu/Monica Niculescu. At the 2012 Australian Open, Cîrstea eliminated 6th seed Sam Stosur in the first round. In second round she beat Urszula Radwańska. She lost in third round to Sara Errani in a match harmed by an early back injury. In doubles Sorana played with Lucie Šafářová again, but they lost to ninth seeds Natalie Grandin/Vladimíra Uhlířová.
At the PTT Pattaya Open, Cîrstea was seeded seventh. She defeated Erika Sema in the first round and then Misaki Doi in the second by the same scoreline. In the quarterfinals, she defeated top seeded and world No. 8 Vera Zvonareva who was forced to retire with a hip injury in the third set. She lost in the semifinals to Maria Kirilenko. In Doha, Cîrstea beat Jarmila Gajdošová in the first round. In the second round she lost to 3rd seed Samantha Stosur. Sorana paired with Anne Keothavong in doubles, but they lost in first round to Anabel Medina Garrigues and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. At the Whirlpool Abierto de Monterrey, Cîrstea was the third seed in the tournament and received a wildcard in singles. In the first round she defeated Stefanie Vögele in three sets. Sorana lost in second round to eventual champion Tímea Babos. Cîrstea was the 48th seed at the BNP Paribas Open. She defeated Iveta Benešová in the first round, losing in the second to Agnieszka Radwańska. In Miami, she lost a first-round match to wildcard Heather Watson in three sets.
In Spain, at the Barcelona Ladies Open her first tournament in clay, Sorana was the 47th seed. In the first round, she beat Polona Hercog after she retired due to dizziness. Sorana defeated Lourdes Domínguez Lino in the second round. In quarterfinals, Cîrstea beat Olga Govortsova. She lost in her first semifinal of the tournament to Dominika Cibulková. In Stuttgart at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Cîrstea lost in the first round to Anna Chakvetadze. At the Estoril Open, she lost in the first round to Silvia Soler Espinosa. At the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid, Sorana upset seventh seed Marion Bartoli in the first round. She lost in the second round to Anabel Medina Garrigues At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia Cîrstea defeated Jelena Janković in the first round and Sofia Arvidsson in the second before losing in three sets to Petra Kvitová. At the 2012 French Open in Roland Garros, Sorana lost in the first round to Li Na. In doubles, she partnered with Ayumi Morita and they lost in first round to Flavia Pennetta/Francesca Schiavone 2–6, 0–2 due to Morita's retirement.
Cîrstea began her grass season at the Aegon Classic. As the No. 10 seed, she lost in the first round to qualifier Melanie Oudin. In doubles Sorana partnered with Anne Keothavong and they lost in first round to Shuai Zhang/Zheng Jie. In Eastbourne, Great Britain at the Aegon International, Sorana lost in the first round to defending champion No. 4 seed, Marion Bartoli. At Wimbledon, Cîrstea defeated Pauline Parmentier in the first round. Sorana beat the 11th seed Li Na in the second round but lost to Maria Kirilenko. In doubles, Sorana and Ayumi Morita lost in first round to Casey Dellacqua/Samantha Stosur. She competed in the women's singles and the women's doubles (with Simona Halep) at the 2012 Summer Olympics, but was eliminated in round one in both events.
At the Bank of the West Classic, Sorana as the ninth seed in the tournament beat Vania King in the first round and lucky loser Zheng Saisai in the second. In the third round she defeated third seed Dominika Cibulková in three sets. Cîrstea lost in the semifinals to Serena Williams in straight sets. At the US Open, Cîrstea defeated 16th seed Sabine Lisicki in the first round. In the second round, she lost to Georgian Anna Tatishvili in three sets. In the Guangzhou Open Cîrstea advanced to the semifinals before losing to Laura Robson.
2013: First Premier 5 final and career-best ranking at No. 21
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Sorana began the year at the 2013 ASB Classic where she lost her opener to Heather Watson. The following week, she defeated Nina Bratchikova before losing to Lauren Davis in the second round at Hobart. Cîrstea reached the third round of the first slam of the year at the Australian Open losing to Li Na. She then followed it up with a semifinal showing at the PTT Pattaya Open losing to eventual champion Maria Kirilenko. She then reached the third round at Indian Wells where she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska. At the Sony Open in Miami, Cîrstea made the 4th round after defeating Angelique Kerber in straight sets. She fell to Jelena Janković (0–6, 4–6) in the next round. At the French Open, she reached the third round losing to world No. 1 and eventual champion Serena Williams. She then reached the quarterfinal of the Aegon Classic falling to Donna Vekić. Cîrstea lost to Camila Giorgi in the second round at Wimbledon.
She began the US Open Series with a semifinal at the Bank of the West Classic losing to Dominika Cibulková and a quarterfinal at the Citi Open losing to Alizé Cornet. In the Rogers Cup en route to reaching her first final in five years, Cîrstea beat two former number one players, Caroline Wozniacki (5–7, 7–6, 6–4) and Jelena Janković (6–3, 6–4), and former Grand Slam champions Petra Kvitová (4–6, 7–5, 6–2) and Li Na (6–1, 7–6). She lost to top-seeded Serena Williams in the final, 2–6, 0–6. She then withdrew from the Western & Southern Open citing a back injury, and later retired from her first round match at the New Haven Open at Yale while trailing 3–0 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. She had reached now the 21st place in the WTA rankings.
At the US Open, she defeated qualifier Sharon Fichman 7–5, 6–7, 6–1 before then being upset by Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara 7–5, 6–1 in the second round. Her next tournament was the Guangzhou International Women's Open where she suffered another early round loss, this time to Bojana Jovanovski 2–6, 1–6. She advanced to the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open after beating Julia Görges 4–6, 4–6. She then defeated Misaki Doi before losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round. She then lost her opening matches at Beijing and Linz to Bojana Jovanovski and Patricia Mayr-Achleitner.
By the end of the year, she had lost her No. 1 Romanian position to rising star Simona Halep.
2014: Injuries and Fed Cup success
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Being ranked 22nd in the WTA rankings, Cîrstea began 2014 by losing her openers at Auckland to qualifier Sharon Fichman 1–6, 4–6 and at the 2014 Apia International Sydney to qualifier and eventual champion Tsvetana Pironkova 4–6, 1–6. At the Australian Open, Cîrstea was the 21st seed, but she was defeated in the first round by Marina Erakovic 6–4, 7–6. Cîrstea then reached her first quarterfinal of the year at the 2014 PTT Pattaya Open where she was seeded 3rd. She beat Anna Karolína Schmiedlová 6–1, 6–3 and Alison Riske 6–3, 6–4 before losing to eventual finalist Karolína Plíšková 6–1, 6–7, 0–6.
At the 2014 Qatar Total Open, she defeated qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva in the first round 2–6, 6–1, 7–5. Then, she faced second seed Agnieszka Radwańska in the second round and lost 7–5, 6–0. The following week at Dubai, she defeated Italian Roberta Vinci in the 1st round 6–4, 6–3 and 4th seed Sara Errani in the second round 6–2, 5–7, 6–1 for a place in her second quarterfinal of the year. She subsequently lost to 8th seed Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinal 1–6, 2–6. Cîrstea was the 25th seed at both the BNP Paribas Open and the Sony Open Tennis. She lost in the second round at both tournaments to qualifier Camila Giorgi 6–7, 3–6 and Tsvetana Pironkova 3–6, 3–6. Cîrstea had received first-round byes from both tournaments. She was the eighth seed at the Family Circle Cup, but she lost in the second round to Teliana Pereira 6–3, 3–6, 6–7. Cîrstea had a first-round bye there as well.
Despite the poor form in WTA tournaments, in April, Cîrstea made a big contribution in 2014 Fed Cup World Group II Play-offs, helping Romania promote to World Group II after defeating Serbia 4–1, with Cîrstea winning both her ties against Ana Ivanovic 3–6, 6–1, 6–2 and Bojana Jovanovski 6–3, 6–7, 6–3.
At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Cîrstea lost in the first round to German wildcard Julia Görges 6–1, 7–5. She took fifth seed Petra Kvitová to three sets in their opener at the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open but still lost 1–6, 7–5, 6–7. Then, Cîrstea succumbed to American qualifier Christina McHale in the first round at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia 6–3, 4–6, 6–1. Cîrstea managed to end her losing streak at the French Open where she was the 26th seed. In the 1st round, she beat qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak 6–7, 7–5, 6–2. In the second round, she beat Teliana Pereira 6–2, 7–5. Then, Cîrstea lost in the third round to sixth seed Jelena Janković 1–6, 2–6.
At the Wimbledon Championships, Cîrstea was the 29th seed. In the first round, she lost to young American qualifier Victoria Duval 4–6, 6–3, 1–6. Cîrstea was the top seed at Baku Cup and defeated Tunisian wildcard Ons Jabeur in the first round 6–3, 6–3 but then lost to eventual semifinalist Stefanie Vögele 1–6, 1–6. Cîrstea was the 8th seed at the Citi Open. She defeated Kiki Bertens in the 1st round 6–4, 4–6, 6–3 but then lost to Bojana Jovanovski 6–4, 5–7, 3–6. At the Rogers Cup, Cîrstea fell to 15th seed Lucie Šafářová in the 1st round 6–4, 6–2 failing to defend her finalist points from the year before. At the 2014 Western & Southern Open, Cîrstea lost in the 1st round to 9th seed and eventual finalist Ana Ivanovic 1–6, 5–7. After Cincinnati, Cîrstea got a wildcard for qualifying at the Connecticut Open. In the 1st round of qualifying, Cîrstea beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6–3, 6–2. In the 2nd round of qualifying, Cîrstea lost to seventh seed Kaia Kanepi 1–6, 7–6, 4–6.
At the US Open, Cîrstea easily beat Heather Watson in the 1st round 6–1, 6–1. In the second round, Cîrstea lost to 7th seed Eugenie Bouchard 2–6, 7–6, 4–6. At the 2014 Guangzhou International Women's Open, she lost in the 1st round to qualifier Petra Martić 6–7, 1–6. At the 2014 Wuhan Open, Cîrstea lost in the 1st round of qualifying to 1st seed Zarina Diyas 6–7, 4–6. Cîrstea's final tournament of the year was the China Open where she fell in the 1st round of qualifying to 9th seed Ajla Tomljanović 4–6, 4–6.
At the end of the year, Cîrstea claimed that she had persistent small injuries particularly afflicting her shoulder.
Cîrstea ended 2014 ranked 93 in her 7th straight Top 100 season.
2015: Out of the top 100
Sorana played in the 1st round of Australian Open only to lose 5–7, 0–6 to Alexandra Panova. As a result, she lost the top 100 ranking for the first time since 2008. Next, Sorana played an ITF tournament in Midland. She lost in the 1st round to young American Jessica Pegula 3–6, 3–6. Next, she played at the Miami Masters, again, she lost in the first round, this time to Christina McHale 5–7, 4–6. Due to her early loss, Sorana decided to stay in Florida and play an ITF tournament in Osprey on clay. She lost in the first round to Danka Kovinic in straight sets 1–6, 5–7. She then played at the Claro Colsanitas in Bogotá, Colombia. There, she lost in the first round to American Irina Falconi 4–6, 1–6. However, partnering with Yaroslava Shvedova, she won her first match of the year by beating Mandy Minella/Olga Savchuk in the first round 7–5, 6–2. Then, they lost to the eventual champions Goncalves/Haddad Maia of Brazil in the quarterfinal 3–6, 5–7. Next, she played an ITF clay tournament in Saint-Gaudens, France. She fell in the first round to Yafan Wang of China in three sets 6–7, 6–4, 2–6. With the French Open starting on Sunday, 24 May, Sorana traveled to Paris to play qualifying. In the 1st round, she won her first singles match of the year by beating Junri Namigata of Japan 6–3, 6–0. Next, she beat Mariana Duque-Marino, 7–5, 2–6, 6–3. Sorana faced Verónica Cepede Royg for a place in the main draw, but lost the match in straight sets 1–6, 3–6, breaking a streak of main draw appearances dating back to the 2008 Australian Open.
2016: Comeback to top 100 and first Premier Mandatory quarterfinals
Cîrstea began the year as world No. 244. In January she played at $25,000 tournaments in Guaruja and Bertioga. In Guaruja she beat Oleksandra Korashvili, Rebecca Šramková, Jil Teichmann, and third seed Beatriz Haddad Maia before losing to Montserrat Gonzalez in three sets in the final. At Bertioga, she beat Sandra Zaniewska, Victoria Bosio, Jil Teichmann and Rebecca Šramková before beating Catalina Pella in the final. It was the first tournament win after a period of almost four years.
In February, she returned to the WTA Tour, by playing in Rio de Janeiro after receiving a wildcard, and here she reached the semifinals, with straight victories against Brazilian wildcard Beatriz Haddad Maia (score 6–1, 6–2), seed No. 5 Polona Hercog (7–5, 7–6) and seed No. 3 Danka Kovinić (6–1, 6–2), before losing to Shelby Rogers in two tight sets. These performances made her climb up more than 90 places in the rankings. Also in February she played at a $25,000 tournament at São Paulo. She defeated Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers, Martina Caregaro and Jil Teichmann en route to the semifinals where she lost to Sara Sorribes Tormo.
In March she attended the tournament in Miami, receiving a wildcard in the qualifying tournament, beating Kurumi Nara before losing to Francesca Schiavone. Also in March, Sorana attended the $50,000 tournament at Croissy-Beaubourg. She defeated Elitsa Kostova, Josephine Boualem, and Andreea Mitu en route to the semifinals, where shee lost to second seed Pauline Parmentier.
Cîrstea kicked off her clay season in Istanbul and Prague, playing the qualifying round in both tournaments. In Istanbul she beat defending champion Lesia Tsurenko before losing to eventual champion Çağla Büyükakçay. In Prague, she lost in the first round in three sets against Samantha Stosur.
In Madrid-after receiving a wildcard-she reached the quarterfinals, beating Jelena Jankovic, Danka Kovinić and Laura Siegemund en route. In the last match she faced Dominika Cibulková and lost in three sets. Her next tournament was the French Open where she entered the main draw as a qualifier and lost in the first round to Elina Svitolina.
She started her grass season at the Mallorca Open, where she once again entered the main draw through the qualifying round, and defeated fifth seed Yulia Putintseva and Daniela Hantuchová before losing to Jankovic. After failing to qualify to the Eastbourne International, Cîrstea lost in the first round of Wimbledon to Petra Kvitová.
2017: Australian Open round of 16
Cîrstea started her 2017 season at the Shenzhen Open. She defeated Kristína Kučová in the first round before losing to Agnieszka Radwańska in the second round. Cîrstea made it to the 4th round of the Australian Open for the first time in her career, defeating Irina Khromacheva, the tenth seed Carla Suárez Navarro and Alison Riske in the first three rounds before losing to the seventh seed Garbiñe Muguruza. Cirstea's next tournament was the Taiwan Open where she was forced to retire while trailing to Risa Ozaki in the first round. She was part of the Romanian team at the Fed Cup against Belgium. She lost the second rubber against Yanina Wickmayer in a close three-setter which went on for 3 hours & 22 minutes. For the doubles, she teamed up with Monica Niculescu to give Romania their only win against Belgium.
After making first round exits at the Hungarian Ladies Open and at Indian Wells, she won her first singles match in nearly two months against Monica Puig in the first round of the Miami Open. Cîrstea fell to Caroline Wozniacki in the third round. She made the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open where she lost to Kristina Mladenovic, and the semi-finals of the Nuremberg Cup. At the French Open she lost to 21st seed Carla Suárez Navarro in the second round.
Cîrstea reached the third round of Wimbledon before bowing out to Muguruza.
Grand Slam singles performance timeline
|Grand Slam tournaments|
Grand Slam doubles performance timeline
|Grand Slam tournaments|
Premier Mandatory/Premier 5 finals
Singles: 1 (1 runner-up)
|Runner-up||2013||Canadian Open||Hard||Serena Williams||2–6, 0–6|
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