Krejcikova out to break duck as Cirstea aims for second title of 2021

By Sports Desk May 28, 2021

Sorana Cirstea and Barbora Krejcikova will do battle in the Internationaux de Strasbourg final after overcoming tough tests in their respective semi-finals.

Handed a quarter-final walkover due to the withdrawal of top seed Bianca Andreescu due to injury earlier in the week, Cirstea fell behind to Poland's Magda Linette on Friday, but hit back to win 3-6 6-4 6-2.

Cirstea, world number 61, is in the hunt for her second title of the season after her success in Istanbul last month – a trophy that ended a barren run of over 12 years for the Romanian.

The 31-year-old will face stern competition from fifth seed Krejcikova, however.

Krejcikova is in the hunt for her maiden Tour-level triumph, after falling short at the final hurdle in Dubai in March.

She too needed three sets to claim a place in the final, with world number 216 Jule Niemeier pushing Krejcikova all the way.

However, the Czech – ranked at 38th in the world by the WTA – rallied after losing the first set 7-5.

Having clinically taken the three break points on offer to her in set two, Krejcikova broke for a final time to make it 4-3 in the decider – a lead she would not relinquish as she prevailed 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Related items

  • French Open: Swiatek not keeping track of outstanding 30-match winning run French Open: Swiatek not keeping track of outstanding 30-match winning run

    Only the understandable media attention is allowing Iga Swiatek to keep count of her incredible winning run that reached 30 matches on Thursday.

    The world number one sealed her place in the third round of the French Open after a dominant 6-0 6-2 win against Alison Riske.

    That victory made her just the fourth WTA Tour player this century to win 30 or more consecutive matches. She has also taken 46 of the past 47 sets she has played.

    Speaking at a news conference following her milestone win, Swiatek insisted she does not follow the numbers – although she has no need to while her streak remains the focus of journalists.

    "I know how many matches I have won in a row because you keep reminding me, basically," she said. "But I don't keep track.

    "I'm not like noting or something. I just try to come back to these matches to get experience from them. But that's the only reason why I come back to them."

    Swiatek was asked to explain what had inspired her imperious form, with her 39 match victories in 2022 already three more than she managed in the whole of 2021.

    "I think basically I changed some things, like I started being more aggressive and trying to be more proactive on court," she replied. "That's something that my coach really helped me to do.

    "But also, I think all the work we have been doing, even last season, it finally clicked somehow.

    "You know, last season it was a year for me where I really gained so much experience. This year I feel like I'm using it the right way. I have this experience already, and I can just move forward.

    "So I think it's the physical work I have been doing but also with my psychologist, I think it's the work of the whole team as well. I'm pretty glad that it clicks right now."

    The 20-year-old conceded her form will not last forever, but she is determined to enjoy it while it lasts.

    "I was saying from the beginning that for sure I'm going to reach a point where I'm going to lose a match, and it's pretty normal, you know," Swiatek said. "I have been losing matches in tennis for a long time.

    "For sure, the things we are doing right now are pretty extraordinary, but I know in tennis that only one person wins at the end. I will be okay with that.

    "For sure, it's not fun to lose, but I think it wouldn't be different than any other loss that I had in my career."

  • French Open: Medvedev determined he won't be trapped in web of tennis fears French Open: Medvedev determined he won't be trapped in web of tennis fears

    Daniil Medvedev is outgrowing his phobia of spiders while learning how to handle his tennis fears as he targets a long run at the French Open.

    The popular Russian made pain-free progress past Serbian Laslo Djere on Thursday, winning 6-3 6-4 6-3 to set up a third-round clash with Miomir Kecmanovic.

    He spoke afterwards about the difficulties of staying informed about off-court matters, particularly whether there could be twists to come surrounding Wimbledon's ban of Russian and Belarusian players this year.

    Medvedev is keen to keep his focus on what happens on court, and while tennis may stoke up emotions, such as when the world number two was cut up by his defeat to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final, he is determined to develop mechanisms to deal with trauma.

    "I think fear is one of the toughest emotions in people's lives, because a lot of mistakes we do in life are because we are scared of something," Medvedev said.

    "That's how I think. And yeah, I'm a little bit scared of spiders, but I need to say I was much more scared when I was 10 or 12.

    "When you grow up you need to sometimes face your fears. I never saw a tarantula, so I think I'm going to be scared if I see one. I'm not scared any more of small spiders.

    "Fear is actually what we can feel every day in tennis. You're scared to lose. Sometimes you are scared what people are going to think about you.

    "For example, I was number one in the world for two weeks, if I'm not mistaken. I'm not scared if people are going to say, 'Well, yeah, it doesn't matter, you were only two weeks'.

    "But you can be scared of this. I think in every sport, especially the higher you get, the more you can have this situation.

    "I try to work hard on not being scared of anything and just learning, even if I do mistakes, not being scared to repeat them but try not to repeat them.

    "To be honest, I'm not scared of much right now in my life."

  • French Open: Halep crashes out after impressive Zheng comeback French Open: Halep crashes out after impressive Zheng comeback

    Former world number one Simona Halep is out of the French Open after crumbling from a one-set lead against Zheng Qinwen in the second round on Thursday.

    The 2018 Roland Garros champion, the most experienced player in the draw at this year's competition, fell to a 2-6 6-2 6-1 loss against her unseeded opponent.

    Halep, who is now coached by Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, is the latest big name to suffer an early exit on clay this year.

    The 30-year-old, who fought off a comeback from lucky loser Nastasja Schunk on Tuesday, looked to be cruising after the first set.

    But Halep failed to navigate a fiery response from Zheng, who blazed through the second set to tie things up before an impressive rout in the third in her first appearance in Paris.

    It marks revenge for the teenager as well, having fallen to Halep at the semi-final stage of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 earlier this year.

    It continues a mixed 2022 for the Romanian so far, whose best finishes were victory in Victoria, followed by reaching the final four at the Dubai Tennis Championships and Indian Wells Masters.

    Zheng will now face either 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko or France's Alize Cornet in the third round, with the pair set to play later on Thursday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.