Sorana Cirstea: It's not just about the shots, it's about the mind as well



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Sorana Cirstea: It's not just about the shots, it's about the mind as well

Sorana Cirstea said she knew she needed to play sharp and stay mentally strong if she wanted to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Cirstea pulled off a surprise win on Saturday as she defeated Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 2-6 6-2 to progress into the Australian Open round-of-16.

Cirstea now leads the head-to-head against Pavlyuchenkova 4-3. “We know each other since we were 14. That’s a long time. You have to stay sharp, play a little bit of chess because we know each other’s games well.

You have to be smart. It’s not just about forehands and backhands, it’s about the mind as well," Cirstea said after beating Pavlyuchenkova, per WTA Insider.

Cirstea didn't let Pavlyuchenkova claim a comeback win

Pavlyuchenkova got off to a positive start, having broken Cirstea in the opening game of the match.

After losing her serve in the opening game of the match, Cirstea responded by claiming back-to-back breaks and taking a 3-1 lead. Pavlyuchenkova got the break back in the fifth game but dropped her serve once again in the sixth game as Cirstea took a 4-2 lead.

Cirstea then held on to her serve the rest of the set to win the opener. After losing the first set, Pavlyuchenkova saved a break point in the first game of the second set before breaking Cirstea in the following game to go 2-0 up.

Pavlyuchenkova failed to convert a break point in the fifth game but also saved a break point in the sixth game. Cirstea dropped her serve once again in the eighth game as Pavlyuchenkova forced a decider. Cirstea impressively bounced back from losing the second set as she broke Pavlyuchenkova in the opening game of the decider.

Cirstea then earned her second break of the set in the fifth game before routinely serving out for the match in the eighth game. Cirstea now has a tough task ahead of her she plays next Iga Swiatek, who beat Daria Kasatkina to make the Australian Open round-of-16.