Recap of Sorana's 2012 - Where can she go from here?
Believe it or not - it has been Sorana Cirstea's most consistent year of her career.
At the end of a long and truly exciting year, the 22 year old Romanian can look back to what has been an all in all decent year for her. 4 Top 10 wins, 4 WTA semifinals, a year-end career high ranking of 27 and still loads of room for improvement, the future is looking bright ahead of Romania's national #1. The former U-14 world rankings leader is finally stepping it up, it seems, one could full heartedly say by having a quick look at those stats and the ranking table. The truth is, despite all the progress Sorana has undoubtedly gone through those past couple of months, it has been once again a year full of missed chances.
There is no other player on the WTA tour whose modiness is translating that obviously into her respective game than it's the case with the young Romanian. From stellar hitting tennis, to moments where even a single baseline shot seems to be too much for her to handle. The discrepance between having a good and having a bad day is unbelievable, sometimes even the discrepance between a couple of points.
Of course hard hitting players like Sorana are even more dependent on accuracy and concentration than rather defensive minded players and there the whole dilemma starts. Concentration and focus - that's what Sorana lacks during most of her matches. There are moments when you think Sorana doesn't even play on court, she is rather somwehere in her own universe and the hitting on court is just something to be done along the way.
From this point of view, it's not really surprising that she is also one of the most prestigious chokers and mental wrecks on tour. Losing from 5-0 up? No problem. Self-destruct against players ranked much below her after steamrolling higher ranked ones a day before? No rarity.
It's a toss-up at the moment rather than fluctuations based on actual form. Sorana Cirstea doesn't possess something you can call form, it's more an 'Am I in the mood?' or not.
And still, after so many terrible performances the girl is finishing the year ranked well inside the Top 30 and it nearly sounds paradoxic that her current ranking can't even be linked to a couple of fluke events what you would expect, taking her bipolar gamestyle in mind.
2012 was the year of transition after a terrible long lasting slump for Sorana Cîrstea. 2013 will be a deciding year for her career. If she can finally find some consistency, her chances are good to establish herself in the Top 20 pretty soon, the alternative would be another roller-coaster ride for her and her fans.
What do you think?