Romanian Sorana Cirstea sent big-hitting fourth seed Elena Rybakina tumbling out of the U.S. Open with a thrilling 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4 victory on Friday to reach the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the first time in her career.
Cirstea got off to a solid start, breaking former Wimbledon champion Rybakina in the fourth game of the opening set, and the seasoned world No. 30 continued to dictate points from the centre of the court while taking an early lead in the clash.
The 33-year-old, who had lost her previous two meetings with Moscow-born Kazakh Rybakina, pounced early in the second set but dropped serve immediately as her opponent found her range again with some blistering groundstrokes.
Australian Open runner-up Rybakina failed to make the most of two set points at 6-5 and squandered two more chances to draw level in the tiebreak before getting the job done with a crosscourt winner, to the delight of the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd.
But Cirstea composed herself to take charge of the decider and went up 4-1 before staving off a late comeback attempt by Rybakina and closing out the contest with a decisive late break after a double fault from her opponent.
Up next for Cirstea is a meeting with Swiss Belinda Bencic.
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com