Pironkova announces comeback to tennis

andrewhendrie in News 16 Mar 2020
Tsvetana Pironkova (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Tsvetana Pironkova has announced her intention to return to professional tennis after three years on the sidelines.

Pironkova played her last match at Wimbledon in 2017, losing in the second round to Caroline Wozniacki, before giving birth to her son in March 2018.

Despite the current uncertainty surrounding the tour in regards to the coronavirus, Pironkova took to social media to reveal her comeback plans, saying she’s been training since the beginning of the year and is ready for a return.

“For the past three months, I have been intensively training in order to compete at a professional level again,” Pironkova wrote on Instagram.

“It wasn’t an easy decision, considering the extend of the challenge. There are many circumstances that I need to take into account, but what matters the most is that I have the love and full support of my family.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has been supporting me throughout my tennis journey for the past 15 years. It truly means a lot and it is definitely a source of inspiration!”

Pironkova hit her career-high ranking of No. 31 in 2010 when she made the Wimbledon semi-finals, becoming the first woman from Bulgaria to reach the final four at a Grand Slam in almost two decades.

Unseeded, Pironkova defeated Venus Williams and Marian Bartoli before going down to Vera Zvonareva.

The 32-year-old was also a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2011 and French Open quarter-finalist in 2016, while her only WTA title was a memorable one, with Pironkova qualifying for the Sydney main draw before beating three top 10 players en route to the silverware, including Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber.

A trailblazer for women’s tennis in her country, Pironkova holds the record for most singles wins in Fed Cup with 22.