Sorana is still only 21, but it seems like she’s been around forever. She had a good debut year at the Slams in 2008 as she gave eventual finalist Ivanovic a good test in the 1st round, and then reached the second round of all the remaining 3 Slams. She started 2009 ranked at 36 in the world, but had a disastrous start to the year as she failed to win a game in the first few months. The French Open was obviously her big breakthrough, and her career high to this point. She beat Wozniacki and Jankovic in back to back matches to reach the QF. I was then so, so impressed with her efforts at Wimbledon in reaching the 3rd round and to this day I still think the first set she played against Azarenka was the best tennis she’s played. She then finished the Slams by reaching the 3rd round of the US Open, this time falling to Wozniacki. After that she lost five matches in a row, and for her good results at the French and the Slams in general, still finished the year with a losing record.
So while she posted good results at the Slams, she stagnated a bit in 2009 by dropping her ranking from 36 to 43. 2010 was another very disappointing year, posted only one win at the Slams, against Rogowska in Melbourne. Sorana ended the year ranked in the 90’s.
2011 so far has been another disappointment. She did win a round in Melbourne, and two in Paris, so on that front she’s done okay, but outside of this has only won TWO WTA matches. She has a 5-7 record for the year. She’s ranked 86, and her game doesn’t appear to be progressing.
What I’m saying is that at Wimbledon 2009, after her fantastic run at the French, she showed some tremendous signs and I honestly thought she’d be a top 10 player by now. Fast forward two years time and she’s getting thrashed in the first round to Pauline Parmentier. About as low as you can go. With a ranking that isn’t improving, and not nearly enough good streaks to get her confidence and ranking up, what’s going on? Is she working hard on the practice court, is she even enjoying the game? Did I massively overrate her talent? I thought she had such huge power, a decent enough serve, and I thought with continued work on her consistency, she’d be making second week of the Slams regularly. But you watch her now, and she is often overpowered, her movement still hasn’t got to the level it needs to be (after significant improvement in mid 2009), and she certainly hasn’t improved her consistency and shot selection.
Is this all she is destined to be, a ‘ball basher’ and 50+ ranked player? I know she's beautiful, and I know she's a lovely person, but I want results. I'm not satisfied with a nice win here or there, I want consistent results, and if she's not winning then I at least want to see some positives, which I don't see at the moment. No offence to Mattek-Sands, Safarova, Pironkova, Errani, Zakapolova, but they are ranked 31-35, and I would’ve thought Sorana had at least as much talent as they did, if not more, and yet they’re ranked 50 places ahead of her. I can’t understand how quickly she has regressed and how little improvements there have been in her game since this time two years ago. Look at that match vs Azarenka and look at her now, I’m at a loss as to where it’s all gone so very, very wrong.
She's still young and has time on her side, so hopefully it all clicks, but it's a long way back.