Cirstea defeats Australian champion Sabalenka in quarterfinals in Miami

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Sorana Cirstea advanced to her first semifinal of a WTA 1000 event in a decade, defeating Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-4 in the Miami Open on Wednesday.

Cirstea, 32, beat the highest ranked opponent of her career by knocking out the second Sabalenka. Cirstea previously beat No. 4 Caroline Garcia this month in Indian Wells and topped Garcia again in the second round in Miami.

“I think I’m a little speechless,” Cirstea said. “I came out knowing it was going to be a really tough game. Aryna hits so hard, so I knew I had to hold on, and I’m very, very happy with my performance today.

The 74th-ranked Romanian, who has two career singles titles, will face the winner of Wednesday night’s match between Petra Kvitova and Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semifinals.

Alexandrova advanced on Tuesday when Bianca Andreescu injured her left ankle and left the pitch in a wheelchair. On Wednesday, Andreescu, 22, tweeted that she had torn two ligaments in her ankle and would be out indefinitely.

“It’s hard to say exactly how long it will take, but let’s just say it could have been so much worse!! I’ll take it day by day, and I’m optimistic that with the right job, rehabilitation and preparation, I’ll be back on the court soon,” the 2019 US Open champion said in her post on social networks.

Sabalenka committed six double faults, including three on break point, and committed 21 unforced errors against only nine for Cirstea.

“I guess people like to consider age, years, results, but I never do that. I just mind my own business, I work hard, I do my thing, I believe in my game, I’m working with my coach Thomas Johansson – we just started in December and so far I think it’s going really well,” Cirstea said.

In the men’s draw, No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz faced No. 10 Taylor Fritz in an overnight match. The winner will face number 11 Jannik Sinner, winner 6-3, 6-1 against Emil Ruusuvuori.


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