Incredible Cirstea saves six match points to reach Dubai semifinals

The Romanian fought back from 1-5 down in second set to stun Wimbledon champion Vondrousova

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

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Sorana Cirstea of Romania celebrates after winning the quarterfinal against Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic. — Photo by Muhammad Sajjad
Sorana Cirstea of Romania celebrates after winning the quarterfinal against Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic. — Photo by Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Thu 22 Feb 2024, 5:40 PM

Producing one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Romanian veteran Sorana Cirstea stunned Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova 2-6 7-6 (7/1) 6-2 of the Czech Republic to reach the semifinals on Thursday.

Almost 15 years after her Dubai debut, Cîrstea finally made it to the last four stage of this award-winning tournament.


But her semifinal entry could not have been more dramatic. The 33-year-old was facing a match point at 1-5 in the second set after tamely losing the first set before staging a incredible fightback to take the set into a tie-break.

Cîrstea completely dominated Vondrousova in the tie-break before turning the screw on the Czech in the decider to complete a memorable win.


The Romanian was over the moon after saving six match points to end Vondrousova's Dubai campaign.

"This has to be the biggest comeback of my career," she said.

"To be honest, at 5-1, I was not thinking about winning any more, I was like, 'at least make it nice for the public, try to make it little longer, try to give them nice tennis and then somehow I managed to get this win. I still don't know how I managed it."

But she knows the identity of her semifinal opponent, Jasmine Paolini.

The Italian got a walk over after Elena Rybakina withdrew from the quarterfinal due to gastrointestinal illness.

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