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Sorana Cirstea beats Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka at Miami Open; night matches rained out

Sorana Cirstea beats Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka at Miami Open; night matches rained out

Sorana Cirstea advanced to her first semifinal of a WTA 1000 event in a decade, beating Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-4 at the Miami Open on Wednesday.

Aryna Sabalenka cools off between sets against Sorana Cirstea of Romania during the Miami Open tennis tournament(AP)
Aryna Sabalenka cools off between sets against Sorana Cirstea of Romania during the Miami Open tennis tournament(AP)

The 32-year-old Cirstea beat the highest-ranked opponent of her career by knocking off the second-ranked Sabalenka. Cirstea previously defeated No. 4 Caroline Garcia this month at Indian Wells and topped Garcia again in the second round at Miami.

“I think I’m a bit speechless,” Cirstea said. “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.”

The 74th-ranked Romanian, who has two career singles titles, will face either Petra Kvitova and Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semifinals. The Kvitova-Alexandrova match had been scheduled for Wednesday night but was postponed to Thursday because of rain; also postponed was the men’s match between top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz and No. 10 Taylor Fritz.

Alexandrova advanced on Tuesday when Bianca Andreescu suffered a left ankle injury and left the court in a wheelchair. On Wednesday, the 22-year-old Andreescu tweeted that she tore two ligaments in her ankle and will be out indefinitely.

“It’s tough to say exactly how long it will take, but let’s just say it could’ve been much worse!! I’m going to take it day by day, and I am optimistic that with the right work, rehab, and preparation, I’ll be back on court soon,” the 2019 U.S. Open champion said in her social media post.

Sabalenka had six double faults, three of them on break points, and made 21 unforced errors to just nine for Cirstea.

“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,” Cirstea said.

In the men’s draw, 11th-ranked Jannik Sinner beat Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3, 6-1.

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