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Pironkova Makes It 1st Time to US Open 1/8 Finals

Sports | September 2, 2012, Sunday // 07:55| Views: 1166 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Pironkova Makes It 1st Time to US Open 1/8 Finals File photo

Bulgaria's top female tennis player Tsvetana Pironkova has reached for the first time in her career the fourth round of the US Open in New York.

The Bulgarian is no stranger to the second week of slams - having reached the semi finals at Wimbledon in 2010 and the quarters there again at 2011 - but this is the first time she has reached the last 16 of any other slam, Tennis World USA reported.

Pironkova beat Sílvia Soler-Espinosa 61 67(3) 63 but she had to battle after leading 61 41 when Soler-Espinosa rebounded and took the match to a third set.

"I was up a set and 4-1 and got a little bit shaky," Pironkova told the press. "My serve started going out. I couldn't put it in the court. It made things complicated. We got a bit of a break and it helped me to concentrate again. After that I was just trying to put my serve in, because that was very important in the match. I'm very, very happy I managed to win today."

"It's a funny thing - I really love playing the major tournaments, not just the Grand Slams, but the other big ones too. They motivate me. Playing on a big court against a big player, that's what I play for. It makes me play better."

The last Bulgarian female tennis player to reach a 1/8 final at the US Open was Magdalena Maleeva back in 1994, later losing the match to Yana Novotna.

Pironkova will meet 12th seed Serbia's Ana Ivanovic for a place in the quarter finals.

The two have had two face-offs, winning one each – Pironkova lost to Ivanovic in Bucharest in 2003 but beat her in Rome in 2008.

For her making it to the 4th round of US Open Pironkova has received 280 points for the world ranking and USD 120 000.

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Tags: Tsvetana Pironkova, tennis, tennis player, Ana Ivanovic, US open, Grand Slam
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