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Top Bulgarian Tennis Player Tsvetana Pironkova

Date: 30.06.2010

Who Is Who

Tsvetana Pironkova was born September 13, 1987 in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. Both her parents are athletes – her father Kiril Pironkov is a republican canoe champion and Tsvetana's tennis coach; her mother Radosveta Pironkova is a swimming champion.

In a twist to this athletic upbringing, her grandfather Encho Pironkov is a painter and instilled in her a passion for art.

Tsvetana started playing tennis at the age of five and soon appeared as one of the young hopes of Bulgarian tennis. Her debut in ITF singles tournaments is in 2002 with a final in Bucharest and win in Volos. The next year brought her new titles and she then moved on to higher-ranking contests.

2005 Pironkova entered the world's top 100 women's tennis players at number 88. In 2006, besides taking part in important contests such as the French Open and Wimbledon, she marked an important win against Venus Williams (2-6, 6-0, 9-7) at the Australian Open.

In 2008 Bulgaria's best female tennis player reached semi-finals in Istanbul, and quarter-finals in Rome, getting up to number 40 in world ranking, which is her best showing to date.

This year Tsvetana Pironkova participated in the French Open, but was eliminated as early as the first round by former world number one Justine Henin.

Nevertheless, her showing at Wimbledon, reaching semi-finals, is the best performance by a Bulgarian player at that championship.

Tsvetana's Wimbledon 2010 games this far have been against Anna Lapushchenkova (Russia), 6-0, 7-6, Vera Dushevina (Russia), 6-3, 6-4, Regina Kulikova (Russia), 6-4, 2-0 (Kulikova gave up due to trauma), Marion Bartoli (France), 6-4, 6-4, and a stunning victory against Venus Williams (USA), 6-2, 6-3.

At semi-finals she's meeting July 1 Russia's Vera Zvonareva, who defeated Belgian Kim Clijsters 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Pironkova is currently ranked 82 (before taking into account her Wimbledon performance) and has 6 singles ITF titles.

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