the legend

joyful rogger fedder

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cirstea puts friendship aside to beat Mirza

Photo Titled Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza
Rising teenager star Sorana Cirstea cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 victory over her friend and rival Sania Mirza in a one-sided contest on Court 12. The Romanian used her powerful serve and booming ground strokes to outlast Mirza, who was once India’s hottest property.

The tie pitted together two close friends (so much so that Sorana loaned Sania some clothes earlier in the week when the Indian discovered that she had travelled a little too light), although they had never faced each other in a competitive match before today.

Their careers have taken opposite paths over the past few years – while Mirza went from being a seed here two tournaments ago to finishing 2008 in the outer reaches of the top 100, Cirstea is coming off a quarter-final appearance at the French Open and is herself a seed (28) for the first time in a Grand Slam.

Conditions were windy out on court, and while Cirstea settled quickly, Mirza seemed less comfortable on serve. She was eventually broken in the fifth game, and that was all the incentive the Romanian teenager needed to bang down service winner after service winner and take the opener 6-4.

The second stanza was a more up-and-down affair as both players struggled for rhythm. Big first serves would tend to win points, slower second offerings would be pounced on and breaks were traded until mid-set.

What rallies they produced were very much dominated by substance over style. Both players have crisp forehands and booming two-handed backhands, and Mirza’s ground-strokes in particular are suited to grass, as proved by her progress to the semi-finals at Eastbourne earlier this month.

Any spectators looking for a slice or, heaven forbid, a drop-shot, however, would have been driven to seek solace on another court early in the contest.

The fifth break of the set gave Cirstea a 5-4 lead, and she served out to book her place in the third round where she will have to face eighth seed Victoria Azarenka who made short work of another Romanian, Ioana Raluca Olaru.

Mirza, meanwhile, is left to struggle on the WTA circuit, deprived of the spotlight that once so mercilessly pursued her, turned her into a youth icon for the entire Indian sub-continent and has now abandoned her at the tender age of 22.

Court 12 - Ladies' Singles - 2nd Round
Sania Mirza IND 44
Sorana Cirstea ROU (28)Winner66

No comments:

Post a Comment