Seed No.30 Sorana Cirstea stunned fourth seed Elena Rybakina in a thrilling late-night encounter 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4 to reach the fourth round of the US Open for the first time in her career.
The third-round match in Louis Armstrong Stadium was incredibly entertaining, characterized by thrilling points and a strategically brilliant gameplan executed by Cirstea. While the Romanian narrowly missed clinching victory in straight sets, her ability to consistently wear down her opponent proved instrumental.
As the third set progressed, it became evident that Rybakina’s energy reserves were dwindling rapidly. Ultimately, the match culminated with a decisive double fault that secured Cirstea’s win. Throughout the entire contest, the world No.30 displayed remarkable composure, refusing to crumble even after dropping the second-set tiebreak.
Cirstea avenged an 0-2 head-to-head record against Rybakina, who hit 56 unforced errors to 30 winners.
Next, Cirstea is set to take on the 15th seed, Belinda Bencic, from Switzerland. Bencic secured her spot in the next round by defeating China’s Zhu Lin with a score of 7-6(1) 2-6 6-3. For Cirstea, this match presents an opportunity to advance to her second-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. Her previous quarterfinal appearance dates back to 2009 when she was just a 19-year-old high-school student at Roland Garros, where she faced Australia’s Sam Stosur.