The WTA timetable last week had two
top-flight tournaments on schedule. China's Wuhan played host to the stronger
of the two events, which had 2,828,000 USD in prize money. Only one Romanian
was included in the main draw, Simona Halep, who pulled out of the competition
as early as the tournament's round of 16. Last week's second noteworthy
tournament was the one in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and had 250,000 USDD up for
Three Romanians proved their mettle
in the first round. They were Monica Niculescu, Irina Begu and Sorana Cîrstea.
However, only Niculescu and Cîrstea made it to the second round. 8th-seed Sorana Cirstea advanced in the competition, reaching as far as the finals. Cirstea's trail in
Tashkent included wins against Czech opponent Denisa Allertova, Belgium's Ysaline
Bonaventure, Montenegro's Danka Kovinic and Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine. In
the final, however, Carstea sustained a three-set defeat by Belgian challenger Alison
Van Uytvank, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
For reaching as far as the finals of
the Tashkent tournament, Radio Romania International has designated Sorana
Cirstea the Athlete of the week.
Sorana Cirstea was born in the
southern Romanian town of Targoviste, on April 7th, 1990. Sorana turned pro in
2006, when she was 348th-placed, according to the world final
rankings. She won only one WTA tournament, in 2008, in Tashkent. Sorana's
career best occurred in August 2013, when she was 21st-placed
according to WTA rankings. Immediately afterward Sorana Cirstea went through a
difficult period, physically, yet she braced up and in March 2018 climbed to the 33-rd position, according to the WTA rankings. Earlier last week Sorana
was 96th-placed, and in the wake of her excellent run in Tashkent
she climbed 21 notches and is now 75th-placed according to the WTA
(Translated by Eugen Nasta).