Cirstea advances in Pattaya

Sorana Cirstea reached the semifinals of the Pattaya Open when top-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia retired Friday with left hip injury in the third set.

The match was even at 2-6, 6-4, 2-2 when Zvonareva pulled out and sent Cirstea into the next round.

”I rushed too much in the first set. Then I tried to be more patient and made her play more while my serves and returns were better in the second set,” Cirstea said. ”However, I didn’t notice that she was injured and was surprised she retired. I hope she will recover soon.”

Cirstea, a 21-year-old Romanian who is seeded seventh, will next face either Maria Kirilenko of Russia or Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.

”Either of them will be tough,” Cirstea said. ”Tammy is an experienced player and the home fans will support her. Maria is playing well coming from Australia.”

Also, Taiwanese qualifier Hsieh Su-wei beat Sania Mirza of India 7-5, 6-3.

”I wasn’t concerned much about reaching the semifinal. I just want to play one good match at a time,” said Hsieh, who will next play either Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia or Vania King of the United States.