2
0
1

Cirstea Stretches Kirilenko To The Limit

Maria Kirilenko reached the final of the PTT Pattaya Open after defeating Sorana Cirstea in a three set marathon. Meeting her there will be Daniela Hantuchova.

Published February 11, 2012 06:01

Cirstea Stretches Kirilenko To The Limit
Maria Kirilenko

PATTAYA CITY, Thailand - Maria Kirilenko is nothing if not determined. And this week the Russian has been called to draw upon all her reserves of courage and fighting spirit during a drama-filled run to the final of the PTT Pattaya Open.

The latest gut check came on Saturday, as Kirilenko survived a valiant comeback to defeat Sorana Cirstea, 62 57 64. In a match that was characterized by aggressive hitting from both players, it was Kirilenko, the No.4 seed, who was the early pace setter, reeling off five games in a row to take the opening set in half an hour. Kirilenko continued this positive approach in the second and after breaking in the ninth game, served for the match.

However, Cirstea was not going quietly; she conjured up her best tennis of the match, winning the next three games, dropping just four points in the process, to force a third set. Yet it was the Romanian who was first to blink in the decider, dropping serve at 4-4 to allow Kirilenko to serve out the match.

"It was a high-quality match," Kirilenko said. "We both played very good tennis and I was just luckier today. She played so well and fought for every point and hit hard.

"I think I was very aggressive today and was happy with my serve, my return and my backhand finally, because in other matches I didn't play well on the backhand. I'm happy with my volleys. Everything was working."

This will be Kirilenko's first WTA final for nearly 16 months and she has certainly earned it, spending over nine-and-a-half hours on court. Defending champion Daniela Hantuchova, her opponent on Sunday, on the other hand, is yet to drop a set, requiring less than six hours to see off her four opponents. The latest of these was qualifier Hsieh Su-Wei, who, despite a spirited first set showing, eventually went down 64 61.

Saturday's only other match in Pattaya saw doubles top seeds Sania Mirza and Anastasia Rodionova defeat Akgul Amanmuradova and Kimiko Date-Krumm, 64 64. Meeting them in the final will be Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Yung-Jan.

Share this page!

Related news

  • Bouchard's Winning Debut On Ashe

    August 28, 2014
    Eugenie Bouchard made a winning debut on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday night, while another WTA Rising Star pulled off a massive upset over the No.8 seed.
  • Pliskova Serves Up Ivanovic Upset

    August 28, 2014
    For the second straight day there was a massive upset at the US Open, as WTA Rising Star Karolina Pliskova served up a second round victory over Ana Ivanovic.
  • Kvitova Through To Third Round

    August 28, 2014
    Petra Kvitova's memorable summer continued with a defeat of fellow Czech Petra Cetkovska in the second round of the US Open on Thursday.
To The Top
3