Playing her first tournament in three years, Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova says she is super happy to reach the fourth round of the US Open in New York after a 6-4, 6-1 win over the No. 18 seed Donna Vekic, of Croatia. The 32 year old's unexpected run has been one of the feel-good stories at a very different US Open this year.
Speaking to the media in New York, the former World No. 31 says, "Well, it feels absolutely great, that's for sure. It was a tough match, I would say. Even though the score does not suggest it that much. The first set was really, really close, especially around 4-All.
It was a matter of just a couple of points really. I'm really glad that I got to hold on, to take that set. Then in the second set, there were just a few moments that were important, as well. I was just keeping persistent, and that kind of paid off.
It feels great. It feels amazing. Of course, unexpected. But just super happy."
Tsvetana Pironkova says getting back on the tour feels normal to her
Pironkova was one of three mothers to win on Saturday and credited the WTA Tour's policies which has made it easier for players to return to the tour after a maternity break.
Inspite of not having played any tournaments in over three years, getting back on the tour feels normal to the 32 year old. "It feels the same to me. It feels normal to me. I think that's pretty normal because I've been doing that for more than 15 years.
I just had three years' break. That's kind of how I grew up, what I have been doing for a long, long time. You cannot just forget it like that. It just doesn't happen that way, I guess." Tsvetana Pironkova will next meet the Frenchwoman Alize Cornet for a spot in the quarter-finals of the US Open and hopes that her body will recover in time for the match.
"I have few aches and pains here and there. A few more after today, as well. But recovery team here is great, like in all WTA tournaments. The WTA physiotherapists and massage therapists are just amazing. They've been helping me a lot with everything. I hope I'll be ready for my next match." (Image Credit - US Open)