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Sorana Safely Through

Sorana Cirstea was among the second round winners Thursday at the Istanbul Cup.

Published July 29, 2010 12:00

Sorana Safely Through
Sorana Cirstea

ISTANBUL, Turkey - The quarterfinals are now set at the Istanbul Cup, with all four of Thursday's second round victors having advanced in straight sets, including Sorana Cirstea.

Cirstea rebounded from a 4-2 second set deficit in her 64 64 defeat of Johanna Larsson to post her second best result on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour this year, her best having been a semifinal showing at Estoril in May.

"Physically I felt good today," Cirstea said. "I could have won it earlier but she played well on the important points and I lost my focus and had some ups and downs. But I'm happy that I finished the match in two sets and I think that's the most important. I'm really happy with the way it's going, every match is getting better and better and I'm still young, I'm trying to improve every day I step on the court and hopefully one day I will reach my dreams."

Read about Sorana's recent hitting sessions with a Tour legend!

Next up for Cirstea is No.3 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who made short work of Magdalena Rybarikova, 63 62. If the Russian comes through on Friday, she will be into her first semifinal since she won her first career Tour singles title at Monterrey in March.

"It was a tough match because Magdalena plays differently from the other girls, she hits flat and slices, mixes it up a little bit, but I stuck to my game and tried to stay aggressive and I was happy to win," said Pavlyuchenkova, who at No.29 is the highest-ranked teen on Tour now that Caroline Wozniacki has turned 20. "I struggled with my serve a little bit in the beginning but I stayed positive."

Also winning easily on the bottom half of the draw was Jarmila Groth, who disposed of Anna Lapushchenkova, 62 63, to reach her second Tour quarterfinal of 2010, the other having come in Estoril.

"I played pretty well, she's a difficult player to play against as she hits so hard and it's hard to change the pace and make her move," said Groth, who next plays Vera Dushevina. "In the end I was getting a little angry with a couple of line calls and lets on my serve, but apart from that it was a really good match. I have been practicing at this club since February so I know everyone here, including the ball kids. I love practicing here and everyone has been good to me, so I have so much fun playing in front of them. I hope to keep doing well, so they can enjoy watching me and supporting me. It's like a home tournament for me."

On the top half of the draw, Elena Baltacha reeled off five straight games from 3-4 on serve in the first set to seize control of the match in her 64 62 upset of top-seeded Francesca Schiavone. The eighth-ranked Italian is the highest-ranked player Baltacha has ever beaten, her previous best being two wins over 10th-ranked Li Na earlier this year.

Read more about Elena's big victory right here!

Baltacha, who will next play No.6 seed Andrea Petkovic, did not go beyond the round of 16 at any Tour event in her career before this year, but is now into her third quarterfinal of 2010, the others having come at Memphis and Eastbourne.

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