Pironkova stuns Muguruza to reach third round of US Open

Bulgarian had retired following the Championships in 2017

Garbine Muguruza of Spain reacts as she plays Tsevatna Pironkova of Bulgaria during their match on the fourth day of the US Open Tennis Championships  in Flushing Meadows, New York on September 3rd. Photograph: Jason Szenes/EPA

Garbine Muguruza of Spain reacts as she plays Tsevatna Pironkova of Bulgaria during their match on the fourth day of the US Open Tennis Championships in Flushing Meadows, New York on September 3rd. Photograph: Jason Szenes/EPA

 

Tsvetana Pironkova stunned Garbine Muguruza to reach the third round of the US Open – her first tournament for more than three years.

The Bulgarian, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist, retired following the Championships in 2017 and gave birth to her first child, son Alexander, but decided to give the tour another shot earlier this year.

The suspension of professional sport delayed her comeback but she has certainly made up for lost time.

Having beaten Liudmila Samsonova in the first round, Pironkova showed her prowess on fast courts has not diminished by knocking out 10th seed Muguruza 7-5 6-3.

The 32-year-old said: “It obviously means a lot to me, especially now. But, at the same time, I always knew I had it in me because it’s not the first time I win [against] a top player. “I was on the tour for almost 15 years, and I had many occasions where I played against the best of the best players. I also scored quite a few wins over them. “I guess I was mentally prepared. It’s not something super new. At the same time, I was feeling well, I was moving well, I was hitting the ball well. Why not win?”

Tough moment

Muguruza made a late decision to come to New York and knew her lack of preparation could cost her. That did not stop her showing her frustration with a spectacular smash of her racket after losing the first set, snapping the head clean off.

“It was a tough moment,” she said. “I guess I’m stronger now. “I just wanted to come here, test a little bit myself, see where I am tennis [wise], physically, and add as many matches as I can to, I guess, this strange year.” Australian Open champion Sofia

Kenin continued her winning streak at grand slams with a 6-4 6-3 victory over 17-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez. There was an all-teenage battle on Louis Armstrong Stadium, where 19-year-old Amanda Anisimova defeated 16-year-old Katrina Scott 4-6 6-4 6-1. The pair are among the seemingly-endless production line of young US female talent, with Scott three months younger than Coco Gauff.

Anisimova reached the semi-finals of the French Open last summer but pulled out of the US Open following the sudden death of her father and coach Konstantin. She blew a kiss to the sky after completing the comeback and said she was inspired by memories of her father.

“I was just thinking about him the whole time and it was giving me a lot of energy to pump me up and get myself going,” she said.

Britain’s Johanna Konta suffered a disappointing second-round defeat to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea . Konta’s run to the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open last week had boosted hopes of another strong grand slam showing and she led by a set and a break against 77th-ranked Cirstea only to lose out 2-6 7-6 (5) 6-4. Ninth seed Konta saved two match points in the ninth game of the decider but Cirstea took her third with an ace after two hours and 49 minutes.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.