Australian Open: Iga Swiatek Grinds Past Sorana Cirstea To Reach Last Eight
Australian Open: Iga Swiatek defeated Sorana Cirstea to reach the quarter-final.
An emotional Iga Swiatek battled into her third Grand Slam quarter-final and first at the Australian Open as she ground past resurgent Romanian Sorana Cirstea on Monday. The seventh-seeded former French Open champion encountered stiff resistance from the world number 38 before coming through 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena. She will play either world number two Aryna Sabalenka or Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi for a place in the semi-finals. Still just 20, Swiatek has been remarkably consistent in the majors. The match against Cirstea was a sixth consecutive appearance in the second week of a Grand Slam, going back to her 2020 title run at the French Open.
"This match was so much energy and it was hard to stay calm," said Swiatek, who was tearful at the end. "During the match my stress level was high.
"I cry when I lose and I cry when I win," she added.
Swiatek was heavily favoured, but the Romanian was coming off a great win against 10th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and caused her serious trouble.
She broke Swiatek on her first game and while the Pole levelled at 4-4, she was broken again by the power and precision of Cirstea's groundstrokes to lose the set.
Swiatek stepped up a level in the second set to fight back. The pair exchanged breaks before the 20-year-old pounced again for a 4-2 lead and clung on to take the match into a decider.
With the pressure mounting, Cirstea caved in first, slapping a backhand into the net on break point to give Swiatek a 3-2 lead.
It was short-lived and with the error count mounting on both sides Swiatek was broken straight back before breaking again to love to reassert her advantage. And this time she closed out the win.