Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova's fairytale comeback story at the US Open continued on Monday after she scored a 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 win over Frenchwoman Alize Cornet to advance to the quarter-finals in New York. Pironkova called her comeback 'unbelievable' in her press conference - she had not played a tournament prior to this event for three years.
"As I said on the court, it's really unbelievable that I took it this far, and I have been so, what's the word -- that I actually managed to win four matches, and especially the last one which lasted I think about three hours.
So at this point, that is quite an achievement for me."
Tsvetana Pironkova continues fairytale comeback at the US Open
During her interaction with the media these past few days, Pironkova has spoken about how becoming a mother has helped ease the pressure that she had felt in the first phase of her career.
"Obviously mentally it's very different for me now, because as I mentioned in the previous days, I'm not really putting that much pressure on myself. I mostly enjoy the game, and I do believe the game is really -- that's the point of that game, primary, to enjoy it."
The Bulgarian had to battle hard in her third round win over Cornet and now plays another fellow WTA mom - Serena Williams - for a spot in the semi-finals. "It was pretty tough that I didn't close the match in two sets.
I realised I have to change something in order to survive this match, and I thought that I would start to play more aggressive so the points could be shorter. I managed to do that, and it paid off. Playing such a champion (Serena Williams), such a legend of the game, it's tremendous honor, obviously.
I'm really looking forward to that match, because I know the feeling is going to be very special. Yeah, I will try to do my best, and I can't wait." Tsvetana Pironkova had been to the fourth round only once in her career at the US Open and she is now through to the quarter-finals for the first time. She has been a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2010 and the French Open in 2016.