Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova is as surprised by her run at this year's US Open as most others. The 32 year old is through to the third round of the US Open after scoring an upset win over former World No. 1 and the No.
10 seed Garbine Muguruza, of Spain on Thursday. Pironkova won 7-5, 6-3 to move to the last 32 in what is her first professional tennis tournament since 2017. During her time away from the court, the Bulgarian also had her first child and worked on her own clothing line.
In her first round match, she defeated Liudmila Samsonova 6-2 6-4 and she will now take on the No. 18 seeded Donna Vekic in the third round in New York.
Tsvetana Pironkova happy to be playing without extra pressure of winning each match
According to The National Post, the Bulgarian says she was happy after her win but hopes her body will hold up after playing consecutive matches.
"Coming from three years of absence on the tour, you always have your doubts. Right now my results actually make me really happy because it shows that I did the right things preparing for this comeback. At this point for me the toughest part is the physical condition.
I haven’t had a chance to play another tournament before this one. Having a few consecutive matches is really a big challenge for me." Pironkova is no stranger to the big stage - she reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2010 and the quarter-finals of the French Open in 2016.
But she says playing in this new phase of her career is different since she is playing without the pressures that she had been playing with earlier. “I don’t know how to really explain it. It’s just great to be playing without that extra pressure that I had on my myself before.
Before it was like almost a life-and-death situation for me to win a match. Right now it’s not really like that. It’s before all just enjoyment to be on the court”. Tsvetana Pironkova will be hoping to reach the last 16 in New York for the second time in her career - the first time she did the same was in 2012.