Bulgaria to Dearest Tennis Star: Happy Birthday, Tsveti!

Sports | September 13, 2012, Thursday // 15:19| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgaria to Dearest Tennis Star: Happy Birthday, Tsveti! Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria returns to Maria Sharapova of Russia during their second round match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 28 June 2012. Photo by BGNES

Internet forums are overflowing with birthday wishes for Tsvetana Pironkova as Bulgaria's biggest female tennis star reached the age of twenty-five on Thursday.

Tsvetana Pironkova is currently ranked 45th.

She scored her latest success at the beginning of September after reaching 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 S?lvia 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.

Tsvetana Pironkova was born September 13, 1987 in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. Both her parents are athletes – her father Kiril Pironkov is a republican canoe champion and Tsvetana's tennis coach; her mother Radosveta Pironkova is a swimming champion.

In a twist to this athletic upbringing, her grandfather Encho Pironkov is a painter and instilled in her a passion for art.

Tsvetana started playing tennis at the age of five and soon appeared as one of the young hopes of Bulgarian tennis. Her debut in ITF singles tournaments is in 2002 with a final in Bucharest and win in Volos. The next year brought her new titles and she then moved on to higher-ranking contests.

2005 Pironkova entered the world's top 100 women's tennis players at number 88. In 2006, besides taking part in important contests such as the French Open and Wimbledon, she marked an important win against Venus Williams (2-6, 6-0, 9-7) at the Australian Open.

In 2008 Bulgaria's best female tennis player reached semi-finals in Istanbul, and quarter-finals in Rome, getting up to number 40 in world ranking.

After her Wimbledon success in 2010, she climbed to number 31, which is her best showing to date.

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