Interview of the Day - Sorana Cirstea

12 September 2011

Having won her only WTA career title at Tashkent in 2008, Sorana is back at the Tashkent Open after three years hoping the event will change her fortunes once again. Once a top 25 player Sorana lost the last couple of years to a persistent heel injury. Coming back to the Tour after working hard she captured attention on the opening day of the event knocking out second seeded Bojana Jovanovski.
Sunder Iyer of the Tashkent Media team met up with Sorana after her winning return to Tashkent Open 2011.

Q. How does it feel to be back at the Tashkent Open after a gap of three years?
I’m happy to be back at Tashkent once again and also start here with a win on the very first day.  The tournament has always a special place in my life. I won the first and my only WTA event here. I still have all the memories of my win here.   I just hope that the tournament will help me the way it helped me in 2008 with my career.

Q. The reasons for not coming back to defend your title in 2009?
In 2009 I got injured immediately after the US Open and did not play any events after that and last year my rankings were low and I was playing lower rung events I n the US. But I always wanted to come here.

Q. Playing the second seed in the very first round, and then scoring an upset, your thoughts?
Yes the tournament this year is very tough and lot of close matches from the very first round. Me and Bojana have played each other twice with a 1-1 head to head. It was an even match, but I played good tennis, I’m glad to have put out Bojana who has had a good year so far. I made less unforced errors and was focussed on the game. I also like these courts and the balls.

Q. After your win here in 2008 your graph took off and then last two years you have been struggling, what are the reasons?
That year I finished 23 on the rankings , but then I had a heel injury which kept me out for three months , I had a lot of points to defend and  I went to tournaments under pressure and underprepared and not physically recovered. It was like a Domino effect on me I was under pressure, had to keep fit and suddenly results were not coming I just lost my way. Also it was the first time I was injured in my life and really didn’t know how to plan events. Probably it was a bad patch of my career. I’m glad that I have been able to overcome it in terms of emotions but now I have to play well.

Q. How difficult was it for you?
My rankings started going down , suddenly  from the main draw of the big events, I was playing qualis of these events, I was not used to  playing the 2 or 3 extra matches  at events . I was also injured and had to take care of my fitness, it was all very tough. But now I have got used to all this and coping better.

Q. Any lessons you learnt?
Yes, take things as they come. I’m now experienced and older to take pressures, Work hard and concentrate and don’t bother about results they will come with hard work. I now do what I love and am enjoying the game better.

Q. Your impressions on the Tashkent Open this year?
I feel the tournament has gone up leaps and bounds in every aspect.  Three ex champions coming back again to the event is itself the proof of how players like the event and what they feel about the friendly atmosphere here. Like I told you I love the tournament. This year I have come here with my father and he too loves this place and the tournament.