World No 74 Sorana Cirstea acknowledged the quality of Aryna Sabalenka but noted that she is confident that she can beat the reigning Australian Open champion. Cirstea, a former world No 21, defeated Marketa Vondrousova 7-6 (3) 6-4 to progress into the Miami Open quarterfinal.
Now, in-form Cirstea has four straight-set wins at this year’s Miami Open. “I think at the moment we have a great top three in my mind, with [Iga] Swiatek, Sabalenka, and [Elena] Rybakina. They are playing outstanding. I think it’s great to see a match-up week-to-week.
Definitely, they are taking tennis to a new level this year. I know it’s going to be very tough, but I’ve been winning a lot of matches this American swing and I have confidence. I know what I can play,” Cirstea said, per Eurosport.
Can Cirstea upset Sabalenka?
Cirstea, who also reached the quarterfinal in Indian Wells before losing to Iga Swiatek, has had one very strong win in Miami – the Romanian ousted world No 4 Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-3 in the second round.
But the bad news for Cirstea is that Sabalenka also hasn’t dropped a set in Miami. In the Miami round-of-16, Sabalenka dismantled 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 6-2. “It was an amazing performance from me.
I think I played really great tennis today. I’m super happy with the level, especially against a player like Barbora. They are always tough matches against her. I think in the last two matches I won the first set, and every time in the second set I would get crazy on court and talk to myself, lose it a little bit.
Today, I tried to stay focused no matter what, keep doing my thing, and focus on myself. I think because of my serve today there was a lot of pressure on her. The key today was definitely my serve because I could play with more freedom on her serve.
I could play closer to the lines and just go for it,” Sabalenka said after beating Krejcikova. It remains to be seen if Cirstea can continue her fine form and beat Sabalenka.
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