Sorana Cîrstea

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Sorana Cîrstea
Sorana Cîrstea 1, 2015 Wimbledon Qualifying - Diliff.jpg
Cirstea playing at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships Qualifying
Country (sports) Romania
Residence Târgovişte, Romania
Born (1990-04-07) 7 April 1990 (age 26)
Bucharest, Romania
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Turned pro 2006
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money $3,110,019
Singles
Career record 352-244
Career titles 1 WTA, 8 ITF
Highest ranking No. 21 (12 August 2013)
Current ranking No. 86 (20 June 2016)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 3R (2012, 2013)
French Open QF (2009)
Wimbledon 3R (2009, 2012)
US Open 3R (2009)
Doubles
Career record 132–104
Career titles 4 WTA, 9 ITF
Highest ranking No. 35 (9 March 2009)
Current ranking -
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 2R (2009)
French Open 3R (2008)
Wimbledon 3R (2011)
US Open 3R (2009)
Last updated on: 28 July 2014.

Sorana Mihaela Cîrstea[1] (Romanian pronunciation: [soˈrana ˈkɨrste̯a]; born 7 April 1990) is a Romanian professional tennis player. She achieved her career-high ranking of World No. 21 on 12 August 2013[2] and has appeared in the quarterfinals of the French Open and the final of the Rogers Cup.[3]

Playing style[edit]

Cîrstea is a power player with a deceptively good serve. 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.[4] According to the Tennis Spy, she does not appear to be fast around the court, but actually is deceptively quick covering the ground with her long strides and good reading of the game.[4] As a good doubles player, she is also a very solid volleyer, and also has solid groundstrokes.[4] Her forehands and backhands are delivered quickly on both sides.[4]

Early and personal life[edit]

Cîrstea was born to Mihai and Liliana in Bucharest,[5] but currently resides in Târgovişte where her parents have the origins.[6] She also has a younger brother, Mihnea.[5]

Cîrstea was introduced to tennis at the age of four by her mother. "My mum and dad have always followed tennis and they encouraged me to start playing the sport when I was young.[6] Sorana's father owns an ice cream factory in Târgovişte.[7]

She has cited Steffi Graf and Roger Federer as her idols.[6] Cîrstea speaks Romanian, English, Spanish, and French.[5]

In 2014, Cîrstea started dating Colombian tennis player Santiago Giraldo.[8]

Career[edit]

2005–2006: Last junior years and turning pro[edit]

Cîrstea is a former ITF Junior Circuit top-ten player, reaching her highest ranking of no. six 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 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 then-top ranked world junior player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the semifinals. 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.[9]

She turned pro in 2006 and ended her first professionist player year (aged 16!) as No.353 in WTA Rankings.

2007–2008: First WTA title and reaching Top 40[edit]

Sorana Cîrstea in 2008

In April 2007, she reached the final of the Budapest Grand Prix, a Tier III event held in Budapest, Hungary, as a qualifier. During the tournament, all of her main draw matches were pushed to three sets. She beat Martina Müller in the second round, Eleni Daniilidou in the quarter-finals and Karin Knapp in the semi-finals before losing to Gisela Dulko in the final 6–7, 6–2, 6–2. By making it to the final, she became the first Romanian player 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, along with partener Alexa Glatch, to lose 6–1, 6–4 to the third seeds, Ksenia Milevskaya and Urszula Radwańska.

In October 2008, Sorana won her first WTA title in Tashkent by defeating 4th seed and World no.64 Sabine Lisicki in 3 sets 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4). She also won her first two WTA titles in doubles that year. At the end of 2008, she was No.36 in WTA Rankings (singles) and the best ranked Romanian woman player in that moment, at only 18 years age.

2009: First Grand Slam quarterfinals at Roland Garros[edit]

Cirstea at the 2009 French Open

Cîrstea began the year ranked 36th, losing to Dinara Safina at the Medibank International in Sydney 2–6, 1–6. In the doubles tournament, she partnered with Vera Dushevina and reached the second round, defeating Kuznetsova/Petrova 6–2, 3–6, [10–6], and losing to Black/Huber 4–6, 6–2, [6–10]. At the Australian Open, she lost in the first round of the singles tournament to Melinda Czink 2–6, 2–6, but reached the second round of the doubles tournament with partner Monica Niculescu, defeating Ditty/Gullickson 6–3, 2–6, 6–3, and losing to Dechy/Santangelo 2–6, 2–6.[10]

As a singles player, Cîrstea lost in the first rounds of the 2009 Open GDF Suez and Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, to Nathalie Dechy and Dominika Cibulková respectively. In doubles, she again partnered with Monica Niculescu for the Open GDF Suez, reaching the semifinals of the tournament before injury forced them to lose in a walkover to Peschke/Raymond. In Dubai, she partnered with Arina Rodionova and lost in the first round to Kirilenko/Radwańska 5–7, 4–6. Cîrstea received a bye in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, but lost in the second round to Elena Vesnina 7–5, 2–6, 3–6. In the doubles tournament, she partnered with Galina Voskoboeva and lost in the first round 2–6, 2–6, to Matthek-Sands/Washington. Cîrstea finished her hardcourt season with a loss in the first round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami to qualifier Mariya Koryttseva 2–6, 1–6. Her doubles effort in Miami with Caroline Wozniacki also ended in the first round with a loss to Kuznetsova/Mauresmo 6–4, 4–6, [8–10].

Cîrstea's clay season began at the inaugural Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella, Spain. She reached the semifinals, defeating Ioana Olaru 6–4, 6–2, Andreja Klepač 4–6, 6–1, 6–1, and Kaia Kanepi 6–4, 2–6, 7–5, before losing to Carla Suárez Navarro 2–6, 7–6, 2,6. In doubles, she partnered with Ioana Olaru and reached the quarterfinals, before losing to Hercog/Ulirova 1–6, 0–6. At the Barcelona Ladies Open in April, Cîrstea lost in the first round of the singles tournament to Anastasiya Yakimova 6–7, 6–7, but reached the finals of the doubles tournament with her partner Andreja Klepač. They defeated Groenefeld/Senoglu, Ani/Voráčová, and Hlaváčková/Hradecká, before falling to Vives/Sanchez in the final 6–3, 2–6, [8–10]. A week later, at the Fes tournament, Cîrstea again lost in the first round of the singles tournament, this time to Lourdes Domínguez Lino 3–6, 4–6, and again reached the finals of the doubles tournament, this time with Maria Kirilenko. Cîrstea/Kirilenko defeated Fernandez-Brugues/Thorpe, Czink/Keothavong, and Hercog/Olaru, before losing to Kleybanova/Makarova 3–6, 6–2, [8–10]. In May at the Estoril Open in Portugal, Cîrstea reached the quarterfinals of the singles tournament, defeating Kimiko Date-Krumm and Maret Ani, before falling to eventual champion Yanina Wickmayer 4–6, 6–1, 4–6. In doubles, she again partnered with Maria Kirilenko, defeating Ivanova/Yakimova, before losing to Coin/Pelletier in the quarterfinals 3–6, 6–1, [7–10]. At the Madrid tournament, 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 with Vladimíra Uhlířová in the doubles to lose to Makarova/Kudrayvtseva 6–2, 6–7, [3–10]. Cîrstea then had her breakthrough tournament at the 2009 French Open. She began her campaign with wins over Carly Gullickson and an upset of 21st seed Alizé Cornet. Having advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time, she defeated 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 advance to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal,[3] where she faced 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.

Cîrstea at the 2009 US Open

At the Ordina Open in the Netherlands, she defeated Monica Niculescu in the first round 5–7, 6–3, 6–3, but lost in second round to Yanina Wickmayer 4–6, 3–6. She paired with Dinara Safina for the doubles tournament, defeating Groenefeld/Niculescu in the first round and losing to Errani/Pennetta in the second round, 6–7, 1–6. At the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, Cîrstea was seeded 28th. She defeated Edina Gallovits and Sania Mirza in the first two rounds, but lost 6–7, 3–6 to eighth seed Victoria Azarenka in the third round. In doubles, she again partnered with Wozniacki, but lost in the second round to Koryttseva/Poutchek 6–4, 6–7, 4–6. After Wimbledon, Cîrstea entered the Swedish Open in Båstad, defeating qualifier Johanna Larsson in the first, before losing to Gisela Dulko in the second 3–6, 6–4, 6–7. She partnered with Wozniacki yet again, losing in the second round to Kondratieva/Lefevre 6–4, 4–6, [8–10]. Two weeks later, Cîrstea lost in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic to Agnieszka Radwańska 0–6, 1–6. Partnering in doubles with Maria Kirilenko, she reached the semifinals, defeating Granville/Gullickson and Coin/Pelletier, before losing to Chan/Niculescu.

Cîrstea had another improbable run at the LA Women's Championships in August, a warm-up to the US Open. En route to the semifinals, she upset fourth seed Wozniacki, again her doubles partner for the tournament 1–6, 6–4, 7–6, and Radwańska 7–6, 1–6, 7–5, despite Radwańska's serving for the match at 4–5 in the third set. In the semifinals, Cîrstea lost to Samantha Stosur 3–6, 2–6. Cîrstea/Wozniacki lost in the first round to Chang/Yan 1–6, 6–4, [10–5]. Her performance at LA earned her the No.24 ranking going into the Cincinnati Masters, where she defeated Meghann Shaughnessy and Anna-Lena Grönefeld before losing to 4th seed Elena Dementieva 6–4, 6–4. After Cincinnati on 17 August, she achieved her career high ranking, No.23. At the 2009 US Open, Cîrstea was seeded 24th. She defeated Ayumi Morita in the 1st round 6–1, 6–3 and Stéphanie Dubois of Canada in the 2nd round 6–4, 5–7, 6–4 before losing 3–6, 2–6 in the third round to eventual finalist Caroline Wozniacki, the no. 9 seed and her doubles partner. Cîrstea/Wozniacki defeated Bammer/Schruff and Azarenka/Zvonareva before losing 4–6, 2–6 in the third round to eventual champions Williams/Williams. After the US Open, Cîrstea lost her next five matches, posting first-round losses 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.[10]

2010: Struggles with form[edit]

Sorana Cîrstea at the 2010 US Open

In the 2010 Hopman Cup in early January, she played on behalf of Romania with Victor Hănescu. Romania was seeded sixth and finished last in their group, winning against the Australian team of Samantha Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt, but losing to the Spanish team of 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 to win the Australian match. She lost in straight sets to Sanchez and Oudin.[10]

Leading up to the Australian Open, she lost in the first round of the Hobart tournament to Peng Shuai 1–6, 4–6. At the Australian Open in January, she defeated Olivia Rogowska in the first round 6–3, 2–6, 6–2, but lost in the second round to Alisa Kleybanova 4–6, 3–6. She partnered with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the doubles tournament, losing to Kirilenko/Radwańska in the first round 6–0, 6–7, 6–2.

Her next tournament was the Open GDF Suez in Paris, where she fell to Melanie 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 the 2010 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, she reached the second round, first defeating Kaia Kanepi 6–7, 6–3, 6–4, but ultimately losing to Zheng Jie 3–6, 5–7. In Miami two weeks later at the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open, Cîrstea defeated Michelle Larcher de Brito in a two-set thriller 7–5, 7–6 before losing in the second round to 3rd seed Venus Williams 4–6, 3–6.

Moving into the clay season, Cîrstea prevailed over 6th seed Maria Kirilenko in the first round of the 2010 Andalucia Tennis Experience 4–6, 7–6, 6–4. She then lost in the second round to fellow Romanian Simona Halep 4–6, 6–7. At the 2010 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 2010 Estoril Open and defeated compatriat Ioana Raluca Olaru 6–3, 3–6, 6–1 in the first round and Michelle 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 semifinals. In doubles, she partnered with Anabel Medina Garrigues to win the tournament, receiving a bye in the first round and posting wins over 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 2010 French Open, she lost in the first round to defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 3–6, 1–6. At the 2010 Aegon International she defeated seed 2 Francesca Schiavone 7–5, 6–3, losing in the second round to Svetlana Kuznetsova with the score 4–6, 7–6, 7–6. At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships she was defeated by defending semifinalist Petra Kvitová with the score 2–6, 2–6 in the opening round. At the 2010 GDF Suez Grand Prix she lost in the first round to a qualifying player Zuzana Ondrášková with the score 4–6, 2–6. She lost in the quarterfinal at the tournaments 2010 İstanbul Cup to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and 2010 e-Boks Danish Open to Klára Zakopalová. At the 2010 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters and Women's Open, she qualified but lost in the first round to Sybille Bammer with the score 6–7, 2–6.[10] At the 2010 US Open, Cîrstea lost to Sofia Arvidsson in the first round 6-1, 6-2.

She ended the year placed 93st in WTA Rankings.

2011: Re-entering Top 60[edit]

Sorana Cîrstea at the 2011 BCR Open Romania Ladies

At the 2011 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.[11] 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 Blackof Zimbabwe and Anastasia Rodionova of Australia 6–4, 7–5.[12]

In the 2011, 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 6–3, 6–2. At the 2011 Abierto Mexicano Telcel, Cîrstea defeated Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6–2, 6–4. In the second round she lost to Laura Pous Tió 6–2, 6–1. 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 6–4, 3–6, [10–7].[13] Cîrstea qualified in singles for the 2011 BNP Paribas Open. In the first round she lost 3–6, 6–3, 6–3 to Alla Kudryavtseva.[14] In the Sony Ericsson Open, Sorana received a wildcard in singles, but lost 3–6, 6–1, 7–6 in the first round to Zheng Jie of China.

At the 2011 Andalucia Tennis Experience, she lost in the first round 1–6, 6–4, 6–2 to Italian Sara Errani. Sorana 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 Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci 6–4, 6–7, [10–7].[15] In the next months Sorana didn't have good results. But she proved she is back in the form as she won 2011 Open GDF Suez de Cagnes-sur-Mer Alpes-Maritimes in France. 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 2011 French Open before losing 6–2, 6–2 to China's Li Na.

She then made it into the main draw of the 2011 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/ Samantha 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. In Palermo, Italy 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 in second round to Tsvetana Pironkova 2–6, 6–1, 6–1. 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 beat by Coco Vandeweghe of the United States in the first round 7–5, 6–7, 6–3. Next tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio Western & Southern Open Sorana 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 6–4, 1–6, 7–6.

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 round she lost to Aravane Rezaï 6–2, 7–6. Sorana 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]. In the second they beat Andreja Klepač/Tatiana Poutchek 7–6, 6–7, [12–10]. In the third or semi-final 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.[16] At the US Open, Cîrstea lost in the first round to Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium. 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 6–2, 2–6, [10–8]. 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.[17] In the Generali Ladies Linz, Asustria, Cîrstea played in the qualifying draw with great victories. In round of 32 or first round, Sorana beat Nikola Hofmanova 6–7, 6–0, 6–0. In round of 16 or second round, she beat Silvia Soler Espinosa 2–6, 6–1, 7–5. In quarters or third round, Sorana defeated Anastasia Rodionova 6–1, 6–2 to play in the main singles draw. In the first round, Sorana 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.[10]

At the end of the year, she was in 60th place in the WTA rankings.

2012: Ascent to Top 30[edit]

Cîrstea began 2012 ranked 60 in the world.[18] Her first tournament was in Auckland, New Zealand the ASB Classic. Sorana lost in first round to Flavia Pennetta of Italy 4–6, 6–7. In doubles she partnered with Darija Jurak of Croatia; they lost a first-round match to Kristina Barrois/Anna-Lena Grönefeld of Germany 3–6, 1–6.[19] At the Moorilla Hobart International Australia, Cîrstea defeated Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan in first round 6–2, 7–6. In second round Cîrstea beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States of America 2–6, 6–3, 7–5. In third round Cîrstea lost 6–0, 3–6, 7–5 to Angelique Kerber of Germany, after having two match points. In doubles, she paired again with Darija Jurak of Croatia. They beat Kristina Barrois/Jasmin Wöhr both from Germany 6–3, 7–6. Cîrstea/Jurak lost in second round 3–6, 5–7 to Irina-Camelia Begu/Monica Niculescu both of Romania.[20] At the 2012 Australian Open, Cîrstea eliminated 6th seed Sam Stosur 7–6, 6–3, in the first round. In second round she beat Urszula Radwańska of Poland 1–6, 6–2, 6–3. She lost in third round 7–6, 0–6, 2–6 to Sara Errani of Italy, in a very hard match, because Cîrstea suffered a back injury early during the match. In doubles Sorana played with Lucie Šafářová again like last year, but they lost to 9th seeds Natalie Grandin/Vladimíra Uhlířová from South Africa and from Czech Republic 2–6, 6–4, 6–4.[21]

Sorana Cîrstea at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open

At the 2012 PTT Pattaya Open, Cîrstea was seeded 7th. She defeated Erika Sema in the first round 6–2, 6–2 and then Misaki Doi in the second by the same scoreline. In the quarterfinals, she defeated top seeded and world number 8 Vera Zvonareva when Zvonareva was forced to retire with a hip injury in the third set 2–6, 6–4, 2–2. She lost in the semifinals 6–2, 5–7, 6–4 to Maria Kirilenko. In Doha, Cîrstea beat Jarmila Gajdošová in the first round 6–4, 6–1. In the second round she lost 4–6, 6–7 to Samantha Stosur the 3rd seed. Sorana paired with Anne Keothavong in doubles, but they lost in first round to Anabel Medina Garrigues and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6–2, 2–6, [2–10]. In Monterrey, Mexico 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 6–3, 2–6, 7–5. Sorana lost in second round to Tímea Babos 4–6, 6–4, 6–2 the eventual champion.[22] 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 quarter- finals, Cîrstea beat Olga Govortsova. She lost in her first semi-final of the tournament to Dominika Cibulková. In Stuttgart at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Germany, Cîrstea lost in the first round to Anna Chakvetadze 1–6, 0–6. In Estoril, Portugal at the Estoril Open, in the first round she lost 4–6, 4–6 to Silvia Soler Espinosa. At the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid, Sorana upset seventh seed Marion Bartoli(FRA) in the first round 6–7(6), 6–4, 6–3. She lost in the second round to Anabel Medina Garrigues 6–1, 3–6, 7–5. In Rome at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia Cîrstea defeated Jelena Janković in the first round 6–3,4–6, 7–6(4). Sorana beat Sofia Arvidsson in the second round 6–3, 6–1. She lost in the third round to 4th seed Petra Kvitová 6–2, 5–7, 6–2. At the 2012 French Open in Roland Garros, Sorana lost in the first round to Li Na the defending champion 2–6, 1–6. In doubles, she partnered with Ayumi Morita and they lost in first round to Flavia Pennetta / Francesca Schiavone 2–6, 0–2 because of retirement. Morita had health problems.

In Birmingham, Great Britain at the Aegon Classic, her first tournament in grass, Cîrstea as the No. 10 seed lost in the first round to qualifier Melanie Oudin 6–3, 3–6, 2–6. In doubles Sorana partnered with Anne Keothavong and they lost in first round 3–6, 4–6 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 2–6, 2–6. At the 2012 Wimbledon Championships in London, Great Britain, Cîrstea defeated Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6–4, 6–1 in the first round. Sorana beat the 11th seed Li Na in the second round 6–3, 6–4, but lost 3–6, 1–6 to Maria Kirilenko in the third round. In doubles, Sorana and Ayumi Morita lost in first round 3–6, 2–6 to Casey Dellacqua/Samantha Stosur.

At the Bank of the West Classic, Sorana as the 9th seed in the tournament beat Vania King in the first round 7–5, 6–4. Cîrstea defeated lucky loser Zheng Saisai 6–3, 6–3. in the second round.[23] In the third round she defeated 3rd seed Dominika Cibulková in three sets, 6–7, 6–2, 6–0.[24] Cîrstea lost in the semi-finals to Serena Williams in straight sets, 1–6, 2–6.[25] At the US Open, Cîrstea defeated 16th seed Sabine Lisicki in the first round 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. In the second round, she lost to Georgian Anna Tatishvili in 3 sets 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-2. In the 2012 Guangzhou Open Cîrstea advanced to the semi-finals before losing to Laura Robson 2–6, 4–6.

2013: First Premier 5 final and career best ranking at no. 21[edit]

Sorana Cîrstea at the 2013 BNP Paribas Open

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 2013 Sony Open Tennis in Miami, Cîrstea made the 4th round after defeating Angelique Kerber in straight sets. She fell to Jelena Janković (6–0, 6–4) 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(0) 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(4)). She lost to top seeded Serena Williams in the final, 2–6 0–6. She then withdrew from the 2013 Western & Southern Open citing a back injury, and later retired from her first round match at the 2013 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 5–7 7–6 1–6 before then being upset by Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara 7–5 6-1 in the second round. Her next tournament was the 2013 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 2013 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[edit]

Cîrstea at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open

Being ranked 22nd in the WTA Rankings, Cîrstea began 2014 by losing her openers at Auckland to qualifier Sharon Fichman 6-1, 6-4 and at the 2014 Apia International Sydney to qualifier and eventual champion Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-1. At the Australian Open, Cîrstea was the 21st seed, but she was defeated in the 1st round by Marina Erakovic 6-4, 7-6(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 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-0.

At the 2014 Qatar Total Open, she defeated qualifier Alla Kudryavtseva in the first round 2-6, 6-1, 7-5. Then, she faced 2nd seed Agnieszka Radwańska in the 2nd round and lost 7-5, 6-0. The following week at the 2014 Dubai Tennis Championships, she defeated Italian Roberta Vinci in the 1st round 6-4, 6-3 and 4th seed Italian Sara Errani in the 2nd 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 6-1, 6-2. Cîrstea was the 25th seed at both the 2014 BNP Paribas Open and the 2014 Sony Open Tennis. She lost in the 2nd round at both tournaments to qualifier Camila Giorgi 7-6(3), 6-3 and Tsvetana Pironkova 6-3, 6-3. Cîrstea had received first round byes from both tournaments. Cîrstea was the 8th seed at the 2014 Family Circle Cup, but she lost in the 2nd round to Teliana Pereira 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(0). Cîrstea had a first round bye here 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(7), 6-3.

At the 2014 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Cîrstea lost in the 1st round to German wildcard Julia Görges 6-1, 7-5. She took 5th seed Petra Kvitová to three sets in their opener at the 2014 Mutua Madrid Open but still lost 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(4). Then, Cîrstea succumbed to American qualifier Christina McHale in the first round at the 2014 Internazionali BNL d'Italia 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. Cîrstea managed to end her losing streak at the 2014 French Open where she was the 26th seed. In the 1st round, she beat qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-2. In the 2nd round, she beat Teliana Pereira 6-2, 7-5. Then, Cîrstea lost in the 3rd round to 6th seed Jelena Janković 6-1, 6-2.

At the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, Cîrstea was the 29th seed. In the 1st round, she lost to young American qualifier Victoria Duval 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Cîrstea was the top seed at 2014 Baku Cup and defeated Tunisian wildcard Ons Jabeur in the first round 6-3, 6-3 but lost to eventual semifinalist Stefanie Vögele in the 2nd round 6-1, 6-1. Cîrstea was the 8th seed at the 2014 Citi Open. She defeated Kiki Bertens in the 1st round 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 but then lost to Bojana Jovanovski in the 2nd round 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. At the 2014 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 6-1, 7-5. After Cincinnati, Cîrstea got a wildcard for qualifying at the 2014 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 7th seed Kaia Kanepi 6-1, 6-7(1), 6-4.

At the US Open, Cîrstea easily beat Heather Watson in the 1st round 6-1, 6-1. In the 2nd round, Cîrstea lost to 7th seed Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4. At the 2014 Guangzhou International Women's Open, she lost in the 1st round to qualifier Petra Martić 7-6(3), 6-1. At the 2014 Wuhan Open, Cîrstea lost in the 1st round of qualifying to 1st seed Zarina Diyas 7-6(1), 6-4. 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 6-4, 6-4.

At the end of the year, Cîrstea claimed that she had persistent small injuries particularly afflicting her shoulder.

Cîrstea ended 2014 ranked 93. This is her 7th straight Top 100 season.

2015: Out of the Top 100[edit]

Sorana Cîrstea at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships qualifying

Sorana played in the 1st round of 2015 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 6-3, 6-3. Next, Sorana played at the Miami Masters in Miami, Florida. Again, she lost in the first round, this time to Christina Mchale 7-5, 6-4. 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 6-1, 7-5. Sorana then played at the Claro Colsanitas in Bogotá, Colombia. There, she lost in the 1st round to American Irina Falconi 6-4, 6-1. However, partnering with Yaroslava Shvedova, she won her 1st 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 P Goncalves/ B Haddad Maia of Brazil in the quarterfinal 6-3, 7-5. Next, Sorana played an ITF tournament in Saint- Gaudens, France which is another clay tournament. She fell in the first round to Yafan Wang of China in 3 sets 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-2. With the French Open starting on Sunday, May 24, Sorana traveled to Paris to play qualifying. In Qualifying 1st round, Sorana won her first singles match of the year by beating Junri Namigata of Japan 6-3, 6-0. Next, Sorana played Mariana Duque Marino in qualifying round 2. Sorana beat Mariana Duque-Marino in 3 sets 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 6-1, 6-3, breaking a streak of main draw appearances dating back to the 2008 Australian Open.

2016: Comeback to top 100 and first Premier Mandatory quarterfinals[edit]

Starting the year as world no. 244.

In January she played in Guaruja and Bertioga, $25,000 ITF tournaments. At Guaruja played against opponents in the first round against a qualifier coming, Oleksandra Korashvili (6–3, 6–3). In the 2nd round played with Rebecca Šramková, score 3–6, 7–5, 7–6(7–1). In the quarterfinals of the tournament played against Jil Teichmann, 7–6(7–1), 6–1. In the semifinals, she played against the hosts representative, Beatriz Haddad Maia (seeded 3), score 2–6, 6–3, 6–1. In the final he lost to No. 4 head series, Montserrat Gonzalez in three sets: 6–1, 6–7(5–7), 2–6. At Bertioga, she played in the first round against Sandra Zaniewska, coming from qualifier 6–2. 5–7, 6–2. In the 2nd round against a player he has played all the qualification, Victoria Bosio 6–2, 6–1. In the quarterfinals, he played against Sorana Jil Teichmann, coming and this qualifier, 6–2, 6–4. In the semifinals, she played against Rebecca Šramková, score 2–6, 6–4, 6–3. Won a final against Catalina Pella (coming in qualifying), score 6–1, 6–7(4-7), 6-3. It was the first tournament win after a period of almost 4 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(7–4)) and seed no.3 Danka Kovinić (6–1, 6–2), before losing to Shelby Rogers in two tight sets, score 4–6, 4–6. These performances made her climb up more than 90 places in the rankings. Also in February was a $25,000 ITF tournament at São Paulo. In the first round defeated Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers, coming from qualifying, 6–1, 6–2. In round two went Martina Caregaro, 6–2, 6–4. In the quarterfinals he defeated the Jil Teichmann, 6–2, 6–0, following that in the semifinal to lose against Sara Sorribes Tormo, score 2–6, 3–6.

In March attended the tournament in Miami, receiving a wildcard in the qualifying tournament. In the first round it went Kurumi Nara, with the score 7–5, 7–5, and in the last round of qualifying was defeated by veteran Francesca Schiavone, score 2–6, 4–6 . Also in March, Sorana attended the ITF $50,000 tournament at Croissy-Beaubourg. In the first round defeated Elitsa Kostova, 7–6(7–2), 6–2 in round 2 of the last representatives hosts, Josephine Boualem, 6–2, 6–3 in the quarterfinals beat a Romanian, Andreea Mitu, the score now 7–6(7–4), 6–1, in the semifinal following that losing the home side against another representative Pauline Parmentier (seeded 2), score 2–6, 1–6

In April he went to tournaments on clay: Istanbul and Prague she had to play qualifying. Istanbul has beaten turkey representatives, beneficiaries of wildcards as follows: Pemra Özgen to beat her unappealable, 6–1, 6–0, and on Başak Eraydın by a score of 7–5, 6–3. Passed the first round of the defending champions, Lesia Tsurenko (6–3, 6–4), so that in the 2nd round to lose against the future champions of the tournament, Çağla Büyükakçay 6–4 6–2. Prague, Sorana beat them in qualifying the beneficiary of a wildcard Karolina Beránková (6–1, 6–0) in the 2nd round Anastasiya Komardina with a double 6–4, and in the last lap of qualifying to beat Amandine Hesse her in three sets, 7–6(7–2), 4–6, 6–2. She lost in the first round difficult in three sets against Samantha Stosur 6–3, 4–6, 6–2.

In Madrid after receiving a wildcard, and he she reached the quarterfinals. In the 1st round she beat Jelena Jankovic, score 6–4 6–3. In the 2sd round she beat Danka Kovinić, score 6–3, 7–5. The last victory was against Madrid Laura Siegemund, score 6–4, 7–6(11–9). In the last match in the Madrid it was compared to Dominika Cibulková. She lost the match after winning the first set. The score was 6–4, 3–6, 3–6.

Accolades[edit]

In 2011, MSN recognized Cîrstea as one of the most beautiful women in sports.[26] Bleacher Report also recognized her as one of the "25 Tennis Players You Have to Follow" on Twitter.[27]

Career statistics[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF R# RR Q# A NH
(W) Won tournament; reached (F) final, (SF) semifinal, (QF) quarterfinal; (R#) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; competed at a (RR) round-robin stage; reached a (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent from tournament; or (NH) tournament not held.
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.

Grand Slam singles performance timeline[edit]

This table is current through the 2016 US Open.

Tournament 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A 1R 1R 2R 2R 3R 3R 1R 1R A 6–8
French Open A A 2R QF 1R 3R 1R 3R 3R Q3 1R 11–7
Wimbledon A Q2 2R 3R 1R 1R 3R 2R 1R Q2 1R 6–7
US Open A Q1 2R 3R 1R 1R 2R 2R 2R Q3 1R 6–8
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 3–4 8–4 1–4 3–4 5–4 6–4 3–4 0–1 0–3 29–30

Grand Slam doubles performance timeline[edit]

This table is current through the 2014 US Open.

Tournament 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open 2R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 2–6
French Open 3R 1R 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R 3–7
Wimbledon 2R 2R 3R 1R 1R 4–5
US Open 2R 3R 2R 2R 1R 1R 2R 6–7
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 4–3 4–4 1–3 4–4 0–4 1–4 1–3 15–25

Significant finals[edit]

Premier Mandatory/Premier 5 finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 2013 Toronto Hard United States Serena Williams 2–6, 0–6

WTA career finals[edit]

Singles: 3 (1 title, 2 runner-up)[edit]

Winner — Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Tier I / Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 (0–1)
Tier II / Premier (0–0)
Tier III, IV & V / International (1–1)
Titles by Surface
Hard (1–1)
Grass (0–0)
Clay (0–1)
Carpet (0–0)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 19 April 2007 Budapest Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary Clay Argentina Gisela Dulko 7–6(7–2), 2–6, 2–6
Winner 1. 5 October 2008 Tashkent Open, Tashkent, Uzbekistan Hard Germany Sabine Lisicki 2–6, 6–4, 7–6(7–4)
Runner-up 2. 11 August 2013 Rogers Cup, Toronto, Canada Hard United States Serena Williams 2–6, 0–6

Head-to-head vs. top 10 ranked players[edit]

Cîrstea's win–loss record against other players who have been ranked World No. 10 or higher is as follows:

Record against other players[edit]

Cîrstea's win-loss record against certain players who have been ranked World No. 10 or higher is as follows:

Player Record Win % Hard Clay Grass Last Match
Number 1 ranked players
Serbia Ana Ivanovic 0–3 0% 0–3 0–0 0–0 Loss (1–6, 5–7) at 2014 Cincinnati
Denmark Caroline Wozniacki 3–4 43% 2–4 1–0 0–0 Loss (1–6, 2–6) at 2014 Dubai
Russia Dinara Safina 0–1 0% 0–1 0–0 0–0 Loss (2–6, 1–6) at 2009 Sydney
Serbia Jelena Janković 4–4 50% 1–2 3–1 0–1 Won (6–4, 6–3) at 2016 Madrid Open
Russia Maria Sharapova 0–1 0% 1–2 1–0 0–0 Loss (2–6, 2–6) at 2012 China Open

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sorana Cirstea". wtatennis.com. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Players | Stats | Sorana Cîrstea". Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Janković upset by Romanian teen Cîrstea in three sets at French". SI.com. Associated Press. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d Tennis Spy: Sorana Cîrstea (8 June 2009)
  5. ^ a b c "Players | Info (Biography) | Sorana Cîrstea". Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Off–Court | Getting to Know | Getting to Know... Sorana Cîrstea". Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Sorana Cîrstea, fata care s-a ridicat cu banii de îngheţată" (in Romanian). Evenimentul Zilei. 23 January 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.matchtenis.com/estoy-feliz-por-lo-que-logro-santiago-giraldo-este-ano-cirstea/
  9. ^ Sengupta, Jaydip (16 February 2012). "Agnieszka Radwanska: The fan favourite". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Stats". tennis.com. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Passa, Dennis (20 January 2011). "Relaxed Nadal moves toward another Grand Slam win". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "WTA players; Sorana Cirstea; Doubles results, 2011". Women's Tennis Association. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Abierto Mexicano de Tenis 2011". Abiertomextenis.com.mx. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Home". BNP Paribas Open. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "Andalucia Tennis Experience / Marbella". Andaluciatennis.com. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Lisicki Overpowers All Comers, Wins Dallas". 27 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "16e Open GDF Suez: Interviews of the finalists". Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ [3]
  21. ^ "Australian Open – Schedule of Play". 
  22. ^ "Sorana Cirstea activity". 
  23. ^ "Success for younger Radwanska in Stanford". 11 July 2012. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Serena through to Stanford semis; Bartoli, Cibulkova upset". Reuters. 14 July 2012. 
  25. ^ "Serena Williams to face Coco Vandeweghe in Stanford final". Retrieved 15 July 2012. 
  26. ^ "Most beautiful women in Sports". MSN. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  27. ^ Tennis on Twitter: 25 Players You Have to Follow

External links[edit]