Sorana Cirstea advanced to her first semifinal of a WTA 1000 event in a decade after the Romanian upset No.2 seed and reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in Wednesday's quarterfinals at the Miami Open.
In their first career meeting, Cirstea defeated Sabalenka 6-4, 6-4 in the last eight to clinch a semifinals spot.
Cirstea matched Sabalenka's power play in the entire match. She hit just two double faults compared to Sabalenka's six and tied her for the lead in aces with seven. Three of them arrived right on break point, which was the worst possible time for the No. 2 seed.
In addition, she had 16 wins compared to just nine unforced mistakes, whereas Sabalenka had 21 in each category.
"I think I'm a bit speechless. I came out knowing that it's going to be a really tough match. Aryna hits so hard, so I knew I had to hold my ground, and I'm very, very happy with my performance today," WTA.com quoted Cirstea as saying.
"I guess people like to keep count of the age, the years, the results, but I never do that. I just mind my own business, work hard, do my thing, believe in my game, work with my coach Thomas Johansson -- we just started in December and so far, I think it's going great. I'm not defined by numbers. I'm just trying to keep my head down and work hard," Cirstea said.
It's been a resurgent tournament for 32-year-old Cirstea in more ways than one, as she hasn't dropped a set in five victories. She's also defeated the No.5 seed Caroline Garcia this week (after beating her in Indian Wells, too) and former Top 20 players Karolina Muchova and Marketa Vondrousova.
Cirstea will face the winner of the quarterfinal between two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, the No.15 seed, and unseeded Ekaterina Alexandrova. (ANI)