She reached a final, a semifinal and had the best week at a Grand Slam in her career thus far - and for these reasons, Mihaela Buzarnescu earned your votes as the Breakthrough of the Month in May.
WTA Staff
June 15, 2018

She's soared up the rankings and onto tennis fans' radars in the past year, and Mihalea Buzarnescu's latest exploits earned her your votes as the WTA Breakthrough of the Month for May.

Prior to the year's second Grand Slam, Buzarnescu kicked off her month with a run to the final of the J&T Banka Prague Open where she finished runner-up to Petra Kvitova, and also reached the semifinals of the Internationaux de Strasbourg on the terre battue. 

A long list of firsts for Buzarnescu in the past year got even longer at the French Open, as the Romanian not only recorded her first career Grand Slam main draw win in Paris, but rode her form all the way to the second week.

Seeded No.31 at the French Open, Buzarnescu defeated the returning Vania King and qualifier Rebecca Peterson without losing a set in the first two rounds, before stunning No.4 seed and a pre-tournament favorite Elina Svitolina in straight sets in the third round. 

Read more: Insider Q&A: The 'firsts' keep coming for Mihaela Buzarnescu

"I did have two surgeries on my knee, and I didn't play for two-and-a-half years, and two years, and then started again, and then stopped for six months, freezing my ranking. I'm here now, so it means I didn't give up. I always thought I don't want to finish tennis with an injury that doesn't give me a chance to play again," the Romanian said of her injury-riddled past in Paris.

"I started working with a coach in June last year, and he really helped me a lot and gave me good advises and gave me good confidence, and then it was really good. I really didn't have any sponsors, so everything was paid by myself when I was -- yeah, depending how I was doing in tennis, in the tournaments. I'm really, really happy that I was able not to give up."

Her run was ended by Madison Keys in the last 16, but the result moved her up three places in the rankings to a career-high World No.30.

Romanians have now doubled up on this award this year, after Buzarnescu's compatriot Ana Bogdan earned your votes for the month of April.

Final Results for May's Breakthrough of the Month

1. Mihaela Buzarnescu
2. Daria Kasatkina
3. Anett Kontaveit


How it works:

Finalists are selected by wtatennis.com
Winner is then determined by a fan vote on wtatennis.com

Previous WTA Breakthroughs of the Month for 2018
January: Hsieh Su-wei
February: Daria Kasatkina
March: Danielle Collins
April: Ana Bogdan