Cirstea Secures First Victory of Season

Sorana Cirstea finally got her season back on track, winning her first match of the year at the Andalucía Tennis Experience.

Published April 06, 2009 12:00

Cirstea Secures First Victory of Season
Sorana Cirstea

MARBELLA, Spain - Sorana Cirstea finally got her season back on track on Monday, winning her first match of the year as the first round of the inaugural Andalucía Tennis Experience began in Marbella, Spain.

Cirstea, who turns 19 years old on Tuesday, reached her career-high ranking of No.36 in the world at the end of last year, but comes into Marbella ranked No.42 after six straight losses to start the season, most recently a dismal 62 61 loss in Miami to Mariya Koryttseva, who was a qualifier into the draw. But on Monday she finally got on the board, besting fellow Romanian Ioana Raluca Olaru, 64 62, to move into the second round of the International event.

Cirstea, the No.7 seed this week, was one of two seeds to take to the red clay, but No.8 seed Tsvetana Pironkova wasn't able to move on, falling to Roberta Vinci, 67(4) 62 64. Vinci actually led 5-3 in the first set but would lose that one before coming back to win in three. Nicole Vaidisova was the last winner of the day, rallying to beat Angelique Kerber in an all-unseeded duel, 36 64 64.

Masa Zec Peskiric, Arantxa Rus, Ekaterina Ivanova and Polona Hercog all secured main draw berths with wins in the final round of qualifying.

Eleven of the 13 remaining first round matches will take the court on Tuesday, including No.2 seed Jelena Jankovic's opener against Francesca Schiavone. Top seed Serena Williams, who arrived in Marbella Monday, starts Wednesday.

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