Tennis: Andreea Mitu stuns Lucie Safarova with straight win in Linz
Romanian tennis player Andreea Mitu matched the biggest win of her career in the first round of the Generali Ladies Linz, upsetting top seed and World No.7 Lucie Safarova, 6-3, 6-4, wtatennis.com informs.
Safarova was playing her first match since the US Open – and after a bacterial infection left her hospitalized at the height of the Asian Swing – and though she saved two match points, the Romanian played fearless tennis to seal her higher-ranked opponent in straight sets.
“I wanted to do good and play my best,” Mitu said in the wake of her career-best WTA victory. “I’m happy. I believed before the match I could win and play my best and it worked.”
Daunted by drawing a top seed in the first round, the Romanian was pleased at how she rose to the occasion, particularly in that all-important final game.
“I was sad when I saw the draw and I was up against the No.1 seed, but it’s good to have those challenges.”
The Czech could have qualified for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global had she won the title, but found herself unable to engineer a single break point opportunity in the second set and threw in several ill-timed double faults when serving herself – six in total.
Mitu, by contrast, was completely in control on serve, winning 72% of her first serve points and converting all three of her chances to break, most crucially the one earned in the seventh game of the second.
“I was trying to push myself to concentrate and be really positive in each point to try to turn it. These days, the competition is really strong, and when you are not 100% there…she was playing really well and going for her shots so she didn’t really give me much opportunity to get into the match a little bit and try to turn it.”
Ranked just inside the Top 100, Mitu is nonetheless in the midst of a career year that began in February, when she upset then-World No.7 Eugenie Bouchard in three sets during the Romania/Canada World Group Play-off tie. Her best result, however, came later on the clay courts of Roland Garros, where she upset WTA Rising Star Karolina Pliskova en route to the fourth round – her best-ever Grand Slam finish.
Up next for Mitu is Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam; the WTA Rising Star also had a successful French Open, where she took World No.1 Serena Williams to three sets in the second round. The Romanian is 3-0 in their head-to-head, though their last match went to 9-7 in the final set at last year’s Australian Open qualifying.