Saturday, January 21, 2012

Australian Open Day 6: Cirstea

Curtain Call

Player: Sorana Cirstea
Age: 21
Nation: Romania
Current Ranking: 59
Notable Conquest: Samantha Stosur (6th seed, Australia)
Today's Result: loss to Sara Errani (Italy) in three sets

Photo via Mail Online

With this result, Cirstea has reached at least the third round at all four Slams. Only at Roland Garros has she made it beyond, attaining the quarterfinals in 2009. Romania has a strong presence in the women's rankings. At #59, Cirstea is only the fourth-highest ranked Romanian woman, behind Monica Niculescu (#32), Irina-Camelia Begu (#41) and Simona Halep (#50).

Catching Up with Old Friends

Angelique Kerber (Curtain Call, US Open Day 13) - In reaching the third round, Kerber matched her career-best finish in Melbourne. Then she encountered the buzz saw that is the in-form Maria Sharapova (4th, Russia). Kerber has a great opportunity to boost her ranking this year. She lost in the first round at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon last year. She'd do well to rack up some wins before she has to defend her semifinal points from the US Open.

Juan Sebastian Cabal (Curtain Call, Roland Garros Day 14) - In his first four Slams, Cabal has now managed to make it to at least the second round in the doubles draw. In Australia, he teamed with countryman Robert Farah. In the second round, they ran into a couple of doubles legends, the second-seeded team of Max Mirnyi (Belarus)/Daniel Nestor (Canada) who have won 12 Slams between them. The Colombians fell in straight sets. Cabal/Farah will be an interesting team to watch in this Olympic year. They won the gold medal in doubles at the Pan Am Games in October. Due to his great ascent over the past year, I award Cabal the Golden Squid, the first to receive the award entirely on the strength of performance in doubles.

Photo via

Golden Squid Report

Greta Arn (Golden Squid since 5/24/2011) - At age 32, Greta Arn keeps on rolling. She got thumped good by Serena Williams (12th, USA) but her third round finish is her career-best in Melbourne. Her Slam results were modest in 2011: three first round exits and a pass on Wimbledon. So, if she can stay healthy, she should be able to improve her ranking.

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