French Open: Carla Suarez Navarro fights past ailing Sorana Cirstea

Battling a shoulder injury, Sorana Cirstea fell in a tight match against Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round of the French Open as she wasted huge leads in both sets.

French Open: Carla Suarez Navarro fights past ailing Sorana Cirstea
Carla Suarez Navarro moves on to the third round | Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images Europe
Carla Suarez Navarro
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Sorana Cirstea

Carla Suarez Navarro survived a stern test in the second round of the French Open after defeating Sorana Cirstea in two tight sets, progressing to the third round where she would face Elena Vesnina.

Cirstea fails to hold onto her leads

Cirstea started the match on a positive note as she attacked the vulnerable forehands of Suarez Navarro to make the first breakthrough in the match, holding serve in the opening game as the Romanian got through a nervy game. Cirstea’s great start extended into the second game as she saved a game point to make the breakthrough, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. Nevertheless, some great offensive play from Suarez Navarro got back the break for her immediately and returned level on serve.

Sorana Cirstea in action at the Mutua Madrid Open | Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images Europe
Sorana Cirstea in action at the Mutua Madrid Open | Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images Europe

Despite so, the Romanian was not affected and instead was motivated to regain the lead, which she did so in the next game as Suarez Navarro failed to put in some of her best serves. It became a galore of service breaks after the Spaniard returned into contention to win the set once again. Suarez Navarro finally managed to hold her serve after she managed to gain some rhythm on her serving.

It was a string of service holds which followed all the way until the most crucial moment of the set in the 11th game where Cirstea, unfortunately, threw away her service game with a double fault on break point. This gave Suarez Navarro the golden opportunity to serve out the set, and she did not disappoint when she comfortably held her serve to 15 and sealed the set 7-5 after 49 minutes of play.

Carla Suarez Navarro in action | Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images Europe
Carla Suarez Navarro in action | Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images Europe

Suarez Navarro fights back from huge deficit

Carrying over the momentum from the first set, Suarez Navarro made the best possible start to the second set as Cirstea made a couple of backhand unforced errors to give away her service game. Suarez Navarro then easily consolidated the break of serve to extend her lead to two games, looking on course for the confidence-boosting win. After holding her serve to love, Cirstea called for a medical time-out during the changeover due to a possible shoulder injury.

The time-out looked to be beneficial for the Romanian as she broke straight back after the changeover and consolidated the break to lead for the first time in the final set. Saving a game point along the way, Cirstea’s run continued when she broke serve for the second time in succession, taking a huge 4-2 lead. Despite so, Suarez Navarro remained composed throughout and broke straight back to love after Cirstea hit three backhand unforced errors in the game.

Carla Suarez Navarro and her one-handed backhand | Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images Europe
Carla Suarez Navarro and her one-handed backhand | Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images Europe

The Spaniard then won her eighth point in a row to return level on the scoreboard, looking to close out the match in straight sets. Cirstea’s woes continued when she hit a massive four consecutive unforced errors on the backhand wing, gifting Suarez Navarro the lead and the golden opportunity to serve out the match. With her shoulder injury affecting her greatly, the Spaniard served out the match successfully after winning 16 of the last 17 points.


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