More than three years after her last WTA Tour match, Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova recorded a clean 6-2 6-3 victory over Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova to reach the second round of the US Open on her comeback from maternity leave.
In March 2018 Pironkova gave birth to her first child and she’s now joining an ever-growing list of WTA moms who successfully juggle their toddlers and demanding tennis careers. The former Wimbledon semifinalist is playing this year’s US Open under the protected ranking of No.123.
Pironkova is very pleased with the current courts in New York:
My first practice was in the far courts, and there it’s even faster. I thought oohhhhh, this is great. Inside it’s a little bit slower but it’s still really fast. It suits my game. Definitely before, courts were much much slower.
During the first-round win Pironkova wore a tank and skirt from her own women’s clothing and lifestyle brand Pironetic, launched in 2017.
The 32-year-old Pironkova will next face two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza, as the Spanish 10th seed eased past Japan’s Nao Hibino in straight sets to advance to the second round. (photo: Chris Goldsmith)