Aryna Sabalenka [ Source: Reuters]
Sorana Cirstea said she is feeling the best she has in years and is brimming with confidence after stunning world number two Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 6-4 at the Miami Open on Wednesday.
The unseeded Romanian, who turns 33 next week, delivered a stunning performance to beat the Australian Open champion and make her second WTA 1000 semi-final nearly 10 years after reaching her first. read more
“I started very young, by 17 I was top 100, and at 18 I finished the year I think 30-something,” she told reporters.
“So I definitely started very well. If you’d have asked me back then, I would say by 30 I wouldn’t probably be playing anymore.
“But then with the years you start to mature, you start to enjoy the game a bit more, so right now I’m really enjoying tennis probably in a way that when I was 20 I didn’t really enjoy it.
“So of course I wish I was 20 and have these results, but at the same time I’m very proud of my mindset, I’m very proud of my work ethic, I’m very proud of my discipline, and also my belief, because I always believed that my game can do damage.”
The world number 74 has been doing damage in both legs of the ‘Sunshine Double’ having reached the quarter-final at Indian Wells earlier this month, where she fell to world number one Iga Swiatek.
“I really felt also in the quarter-final that I could have played much better,” she said.
“So coming into here, I had the confidence, I had the work that I put in in the past couple of months now this week, less emotional, back to work.”
She added that she is over the shoulder injury that forced her to shut down her season after last year’s U.S. Open.
“Physically I am better than I have been ten years ago,” she said.
“I feel very fit. I feel I’m moving better.”
Cirstea will face either Czech 15th seed Petra Kvitova or 18th-seeded Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semis.