Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 23, 2024

Sorana Cirstea – QF Press Conference – 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

2024 Women's Singles Quarterfinals: S. CIRSTEA/M. Vondrousova 2-6, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations on reaching the semifinal.


THE MODERATOR: How pleased are you with that win?

SORANA CIRSTEA: Of course, I am very pleased. I’ll be honest and I’ll say I didn’t expect to win this one being down a set and 5-1.

As I mentioned on the court, I looked over at the clock and I saw it was only one hour of play. I was having such great support. I said, Okay, let’s try to win one more game for the public, make it a little bit longer. Again, I think that thing took the pressure away from me. I started to find my game.

Of course, I’m very happy to pull this win through.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Back-to-back three-set wins with the one with Donna yesterday. Did it take you time to adjust to the courts at all here? What do you think is playing into your game style here in Dubai?

SORANA CIRSTEA: Yeah, to be honest, I like the conditions here a little bit better than Doha and Abu Dhabi. It’s a little bit quicker. The balls don’t get so fluffy. Of course, it suits a little bit better my aggressive game. I also train here in Dubai on similar courts. I think straightaway I felt very comfortable.

Also coming in, I was playing very good in Abu Dhabi and Doha. I’m glad to carry the form and also have a good result.

Q. How memorable is this comeback? You are into your third WTA 1000 semifinal.

SORANA CIRSTEA: For sure, this has to be the biggest comeback of my career. At least I don’t remember winning from a set and 5-1. I just found out I was six match points down. Of course it means a lot.

Again, like I said, there was a moment in time where I kind of gave up with the idea of winning. I didn’t give up the fight and trying to give everything I have.

Again, it’s a lesson that in life we have to fight. It doesn’t matter. There is a saying: you have to fight until the last point. Today you could see why.

Q. I think I spotted Peter Wessels in your box. Did you change your coaching? Can you give us an update?

SORANA CIRSTEA: Yeah, I finished with Thomas Johansson after Australian Open. I’ve been working with Peter Wessels every time I was in Dubai because half of the time I’m in Dubai now. He is based here in Dubai. I asked him once I come from Australian Open if he could help me in Abu Dhabi and here in Dubai.

It’s going great. We have a good chemistry. I’m very happy to have him in my box this week.

Q. Is he going to be traveling with you at all or do you have a different setup for travel?

SORANA CIRSTEA: So far I have a different setup for Indian Wells and Miami. With Peter, it’s a little bit tough because he’s based here in Dubai. He works a lot. We’ll see a little bit in the future.

Q. This is a bit random. Do you remember when you played the late match here and Maradona was watching?

SORANA CIRSTEA: Yes, of course. I have a picture in my phone. I think I was playing Sara Errani.

Q. Any special memories of that day in general? Did you speak with him at all?

SORANA CIRSTEA: No, we didn’t really. We didn’t really speak. Was just a photo. But I was frozen. He was an idol. I could barely say hello. When you meet such idols and such great personalities, of course you are very shy and words don’t come that easy anymore.

Q. Looking ahead to playing Jasmine Paolini. Tricky opponent for you. What do you think will be the key? Physically with the tough matches the last couple days, how are you feeling going into the semis?

SORANA CIRSTEA: I think the priority right now, it’s to recover. This is a 1000 where we play every single day. Of course, it’s a little bit tougher on the body. But we are used to it. I think it shouldn’t be any problem for tomorrow.

She’s a very tough opponent. I lost to her in French Open last year. Of course, I know her quite a bit. She’s very aggressive. She’s also very solid, very feisty. I think she’s top 30 now, so of course she’s playing great. I’ve said so many times, at this level you can see everyone plays great.

It’s going to be a good match, a tough one, but I look forward to it. To play semifinal in a 1000, it’s wonderful.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Our Partners