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Tsvetana Pironkova

Tsvetana PironkovaTsvetana PironkovaTsvetana PironkovaTsvetana PironkovaTsvetana Pironkova

Tsvetana Pironkova, born 13 September 1987 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria is a tennis player. Pironkova is right-handed and plays with a two-handed backhand. She achieved her career high of world no. 31 on 13 September 2010. She is best known for defeating Venus Williams three times at Grand Slam tournaments. She is currently the Bulgarian No. 1, and has won six ITF titles in her career. She has been regarded as one of the most beautiful women in sports by MSN. Pironkova was born in 1987 to Kiril Enchev Pironkov, a former canoeing champion and Radosveta Chinkova Nikolova, a former swimming champion. She started playing tennis at the age of 4 when her father introduced her to the game and later became her coach. Pironkova plays right-handed, and uses a double backhand. In 2001, Pironkova won the Atlantic Cup International Junior Tournament held in Bulgaria, and her career high in juniors was world no. 227 as of 25 March 2002.

In August 2002 at the age of 14, Pironkova played her first professional tournament at the $10,000 International Tennis Federation Tournament in Bucharest, Romania. Pironkova won 3 qualifying matches before reaching the final in the main draw, where she lost to Monica Niculescu of Romania. In September 2002, Pironkova played in the $10,000 ITF event in Volos, Greece, where she lost only one set playing through the qualifying and main draw. She defeated Tina Schmassmann of Switzerland to win her first professional ITF event. In 2003, she won three ITF singles titles: one in Orestiada, Greece and two in Istanbul. In the week of 14–21 May 2005, at the age of 17, Pironkova played in her first WTA-level tournament, the Tier III event in Istanbul, Turkey. After winning two qualifying matches, Pironkova won three matches in the main draw before she lost in the semi-finals to Venus Williams. In January 2006, Pironkova made headlines by defeating tenth-seed Venus Williams in the first round of the 2006 Australian Open by a score of 2–6, 6–0, 9–7, then lost to Laura Granville in the second round. Pironkova was ranked 94th in the world.

In the first round at Wimbledon, Pironkova came from a set down to defeat then top 20 player Anna-Lena Grönefeld. In the following round she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska in straight sets. On 16 November 2006, Pironkova reached her then career high singles ranking of 62. In 2007, Pironkova lost in the first rounds of the Australian Open, French Open, and at Wimbledon. She played in the qualifications of the US Open, and beat Zuzana Ondrášková, Marta Domachowska, and Stéphanie Dubois to reach the main draw. She drew Olga Puchkova from Russia in the first round. Pironkova won that match to set up a clash with world number 1, Justine Henin in the second round. Pironkova lost to Henin in straight sets. After the US Open in September 2007, Pironkova played in one of the biggest challenger events of the year in Bordeaux, winning the tournament with straight set victories over Mathilde Johansson, Tatjana Malek and Alizé Cornet all in straight sets. The win put her singles ranking back into the top 80 for the first time in several months

Pironkova made a solid start to 2008, winning 2 qualifying matches at the Tier II event in Sydney before bowing out in 3 tight sets to Dominika Cibulková. At the Australian Open, the 20 year old thrashed Olga Govortsova in the 1st round and in round 2 she played second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. Despite leading 5–2 and having set points in the 1st set, the Bulgarian eventually lost 7–6, 6–2. At the Tier II Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp in February, Pironkova qualified for the loss of only 10 games in 3 matches, won her first round match for the loss of just two more, and then took a 7–6, 3–1 second-round lead over Belgian World No.1 Justine Henin before losing the match in three sets. She caused another upset at the 2008 Rome Masters. As a qualifier, she beat top seed and world no. 3 Ana Ivanović in the second round for the biggest victory of her career so far. She advanced to the quarterfinals, her first ever at a Tier I event, when Victoria Azarenka retired during their third round match with Pironkova leading 6–1, 1–0. In the quarterfinals she was defeated by Anna Chakvetadze.

In September, Pironkova reached the final in an ITF event in Sofia, where she lost to Nuria Llagostera Vives in the final and ended the year ranked number 46 in the world. In 2009, Pironkova made the quarter finals in the 2009 Moorilla Hobart International before she lost to Virginie Razzano and on her way she defeated then world no. 15 Patty Schnyder. It was her fifth top 20 win in her career. At the Australian Open she defeated Karolina Šprem in the first round before she lost to 16th seed Marion Bartoli. Seeded No. 8 at the first Andalucia Tennis Experience, Pironkova lost in the first round to Roberta Vinci. She lost in the first rounds of the French Open and Wimbledon, both times to Jill Craybas.

Pironkova started the year 2010 with early-round losses in Australia – she lost to World no. 67 and no. 7 seed Anna-Lena Grönefeld in the qualifications in Sydney in three sets and the second round of Australian Open she suffered a loss to World no.28 Shahar Pe'er. In February she fell to non-top 100 players Darya Kustova and Tamira Paszek in the qualifiers in Paris and Dubai where she lost to Paszek after 5–7 in the third set; won the first set with 6–1 after leading 5–0. In March she reached the second rounds in Indian Wells and Miami; she lost respectively to no. 23 seeded Kleybanova and Wozniacki after winning the first set in both matches. Pironkova made her first ITF Tour appearance of the year in the $25,000 Fort Walton Beach, where she reached the semifinals.

In April 2010 she fell in the second round of the qualifiers in Barcelona where she lost to Silvia Soler-Espinosa in two sets. In Stuttgart she lost to World no. 7 Jelena Janković 2–6 2–6. It was her worst loss against Janković in their four meetings, after pushing to three sets in two of them and extending to 5–7 in the third in 2006 again in Stuttgart. In May she suffered early-round losses in the first round of qualifications in Rome and Madrid where herloss to World ranked no. 299 Brianti was the worst loss since losing to World no. 799 Katalin Marosi in 2008, which was also her second worst career loss. In Warsaw she reached her first quarterfinal of the year after defeating World ranked no.5 Elena Dementieva in the second round, which was her fourth career Top 10 win and second career top 5 win after overcoming three rounds of qualifications. She then lost to the defending and eventual champion Alexandra Dulgheru. At Roland Garross Pironkova lost to former World ranked no. 1 and four-time French Open champion Justine Henin in the first round.

In early June she lost a qualifying second round to World ranked no. 344 and US Open Girl's Champion Heather Watson making it her 7th non-top 100 loss of the year. Entering Wimbledon with a career 1–4 record at the event, she went beyond the second round for the first time in her career to become the first Bulgarian to reach a semi-final of a Grand Slam tournament since Manuela Maleeva achieved this feat at the US Open in 1992 and 1993. Pironkova beat 5 times champion Venus Williams in the quarter-final despite being ranked eighty places lower than her, making this defeat for Williams her most lopsided in her time playing at Wimbledon. Pironkova was beaten 6–3 3–6 2–6 in her first grand slam semi-final by Vera Zvonareva, and her best performance thus far at Wimbledon. The Williams upset moved Pironkova to 35th in the WTA, her highest career ranking.

In July she reached the second round in Palermo, then lost to Jill Craybas with the the defeat coming after Pironkova suffered a light injury in the first set of her first match in Palermo. Due to the points won in Palermo she rose to no. 34 the following week. Despite inactivity, she reached a career-high of world ranked no. 33 on 26 July after Safina dropped her points from Portorož. Later in July she scored a straight-sets victory over Tatjana Malek in Istanbul. However, she then recorded three consecutive losses, two of which were to Anastasia Rodionova and one to Anna Lapushchenkova. Just before the US Open, she was ranked No. 34 in the world, but due to the withdrawals of Serena Williams and Justine Henin, Pironkova became the first Bulgarian to be seeded at a Grand Slam since Magdalena Maleeva was seeded in the 2005 Wimbledon. As no. 32 in the draw, she was projected to have a rematch of her Wimbledon quarterfinal against former world no. 1 Venus Williams in the third round. Pironkova lost in the second round to qualifier Mandy Minella, who had just scored her very first main draw victory. Later it was revealed Pironkova suffered from fever and felt exhausted the day of her match.

In the Toray Pan Pacific Open, she lost in the second round to Italian qualifier Roberta Vinci. In her first participation in the China Open, Pironkova lost her first round match against Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova. In her last tournament of the year, Moscow's 2010 Kremlin Cup, Pironkova lost in the second round to Dominika Cibulková ending the year at number 35 in the world. After the season Pironkova won 5th place at the sportsman of the year ceremony in Bulgaria which is held every year and determines the top 10 sport achievements. She was announced as best athlete in her home city of Plovdiv also. Pironkova's first tournament of 2011 was in the Moorilla Hobart International where she lost to Peng Shuai of China in the first round. In the Australian Open Pironkova fell the in second round to Romanian Monica Niculescu. In the 2011 French Open Tsvetana was seeded 32nd, but lost to Gisela Dulko, the Argentinian, in the second round. Pironkova entered Wimbledon as No. 32 seed. In the third round Tsvetana defeated world No. 3 and second-seeded Vera Zvonareva 6–2 and 6–3, thus avenging her loss in the semifinals of the last year's Wimbledon.

In the fourth round of Wimbledon, she beat former champion Venus Williams 6–2 6–3, which was the same scoreline as their previous meeting in 2010's Wimbledon Championships. In the quarterfinals, she lost to eventual champion Petra Kvitova, 6–3, 6–7, 6–2. In July 2011 Pironkova competed in the XXIV SNAI Open – Internazionali Femminili Di Palermo Tournament where she defeated Anna Tatishvili in the first round and Sorana Cîrstea in the second, before losing to Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals. At the 2011 Western & Southern Open Pironkova lost to Christina McHale in the first round. At the 2011 US Open Pironkova defeated Virginie Razzano in the first round, but lost to world ranked No. 13 Peng Shuai in the next round. Pironkova teamed up with Chanelle Scheepers in the first round of 2011 US Open Women's Doubles championships, but they were defeated by Arantxa Parra Santonja and Nuria Llagostera Vives. At the 2011 Toray Pan Pacific Open Pironkova beat Gisela Dulko in the first round 7–6, 6–1, but then lost to Vera Zvonareva in the second 7–5 6–0. At the 2011 China Open Pironkova lost to world No. 7 Samantha Stosur in the first round. At 2011 Kremlin Cup Pironkova beat Petra Martić, after Martić retired due to injury. Pironkova failed to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round and she ended the year at number 46 in the world.

Pironkova began 2012 representing Bulgaria at the 2012 Hopman Cup losing to Petra Kvitova 4–6,2–6. Pironkova and her partner Grigor Dimitrov managed to defeat Tomáš Berdych and Kvitova in doubles. Despite their win the team of Bulgaria lost to the Czech Republic after Pironkova and Dimitrov lost their singles matches.Then, their team was victorious against Denmark. The team of Bulgaria scored a victory over the team of the United States but finished second in Group A and didn't qualify for the final. Pironkova competed in the 2012 edition of the Moorilla Hobart International Tournament but was eliminated in the second round by Anna Chakvetadze. At the 2012 Australian Open Pironkova defeated Sania Mirza in the first round, before losing to Galina Voskoboeva in the second. In 2012, Pironkova once again represented Bulgaria in the 2012 Fed Cup, alongside Elitsa Kostova, Dia Evtimova and Isabella Shinikova. On 1 February, the team scored their first victory, after beating Estonia. Later, the team lost to Austria, then lost again to Portugal and finished in seventh place in the group.

Pironkova's next tournament was the 2012 Open GDF Suez, where she defeated Li Na in the first round, after Li retired due to injury. In the second round Pironkova lost to Klára Zakopalová. Pironkova then played in the 2012 Qatar Total Open, where she beat Polona Hercog in the first round. In the second round Pironkova defeated Angelique Kerber but then lost to Marion Bartoli in the third. Pironkova's next tournament was the 2012 BNP Paribas Open, where she fell to Carla Suárez Navarro in the first round. At the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open Pironkova beat Petra Martić in the first round, but then she lost to Roberta Vinci in the second. Pironkova was scheduled to participate in the 2012 Barcelona Ladies Open but she decided not to, because of a left arm injury. Pironkova compeated in the 2012 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix , starting from the qualifications, where she lost to Carina Witthöft in the first round.

She participated at the 2012 Budapest Grand Prix where she was seeded 3rd., but lost in the first round. At 2012 Internazionali BNL d'Italia Pironkova continued her losing streak, after an upset against Vania King 0–6, 1–6. At the 2012 Brussels Open Pironkova reached the quarterfinals after defeating Eleni Daniilidou and Nadia Petrova, before losing to Kaia Kanepi. At the 2012 French Open Pironkova lost to former champion Francesca Schiavone in the second round. At the 2012 AEGON International Pironkova reached her second quarterfinal of the season after defeating №1 seeded Agnieszka Radwańska and qualifier Stéphanie Dubois before eventually losing to Tamira Paszek. At the 2012 Wimbledon Championships Pironkova lost to world ranked number 1 Maria Sharapova in the second round. She reached the quarterfinals of the Sony Swedish Open - Bastad losing to Polona Hercog 6-3 5-7 4-6.

Tsvetana Pironkova
Competitor for Bulgaria Bulgaria
Career record 295–189
Career titles 0 WTA, 6 ITF
Highest ranking No. 31 (13 September 2010)
Current ranking No. 57 (23 July 2012)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 2R (2006, 2008–2011)
French Open 2R (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012)
Wimbledon SF (2010)
US Open 2R (2007, 2010, 2011)
Career record 11–25
Career titles 0 WTA, 0 ITF
Highest ranking No. 141 (23 March 2009)
Current ranking No. 338 (June 11 2012)

See more at: www.tsvetanapironkova.com

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source: www.wikipedia.org


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