Sorana Cirstea Interview - French Open, June 1

Posted on June 1, 2009

Sorana Cirstea Interview
French Open, June 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Last two wins, two top 10 players. What's the feeling?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Of course it's a great feeling, and the mostimportant is that I'm happy with my game and the way I'm playing. I hope I can keep up like this, and hope it'sjust the beginning.

Q. What do you think was the key point today?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: First of all, I really wanted to win. Maybe I wanted too much in the first set andI wasn't playing the right way. I was alittle nervous. But then after I losethe first set, I said, I have nothing to lose. I just need to relax.

I did that until theend of the third set when I started to get again nervous because it was animportant match for me and was the first time I was playing fourth round.

I really wanted to win, but I think I wastrying to take control of all the points and just stay aggressive.

Q. Didyou notice that in the stands there were Ion Tiriac, Illie Nastase, andVirginia Ruzici watching you?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Yeah, when I was coming for my match, I sawMr. Nastase. He said he was comingfor my match, so I knew he was there. Virginia, she just sentme a message after my match. I also knewshe was there. And Mr. Tiriac, I didn'tsee him. I'm happy he was also there.

Q. You seem to feel quite comfortable on the big court and everything. Do you like the big stage?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Yeah. I always said that I love playing on big courts, because I love having alot of people supporting me and big crowds. That motivates me a lot.

I mean, at the end theatmosphere was unbelievable, and I think that was a good thing, also, because Ifelt the crowd was with me and that gave me more energy.

Q. It seemed like at times your legs were about to give out, so what didyou tell yourself? Just keep going evenif I fall down? Doesn't matter?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Exactly. I mean, of course it wasn't easy at the end. I was getting tight, and I started to feel inmy hamstring. I was just trying to jumparound.

I was looking on theother side, and I saw she was tired, also. So I knew it was also a little bit mental who is going to stay stronger,and I was just trying, you know, to keep the energy coming and just try to hitand keep the points shorter.

Q. It seemed like you were in charge of the points. You were being more aggressive. So did you feel like the match was yours todecide?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Exactly. I mean, my game was always to hit since I was really young. I always thought I'm a hard hitter. And also today I was trying to takecontrol. Even if I was winning somepoints and losing, I was always trying, you know, to take control. I think when I did that, I was winning.

Q. You just talked about when you were young. You're still young. Can you talk about the development of yourgame? Were you able to stay at home todevelop your game? Did you have to leave? Who were your big influences?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: I mean, I grew up in Romania, and I started tennis whenI was four. That was a new thing for Romania,because never happen before. I startedplaying because of Steffi Graf. I sawher on TV all the time.

I mean, I always wantedto be professional. I always wanted belike her since I was really young. Iremember always like focusing and trying to take tennis serious.

Now I'm at a level that honestly I washoping one day, and I mean, it's good to be here.

Q. Alsowhen someone like yourself that's not that well‑known breaks through at a GrandSlam there is a lot of attention. All ofa sudden someone wants to know your life story. Are you ready for that?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: I think I'm ready. I prefer having good results with attentionand having no results and no attention. So I think everything comes together, and I hope I can handleeverything.

Q. Some other players of your generation like Wozniacki or Radwanska,Azarenka were in the top 20 by the end of last season, and then you were behindthem. Was it encouraging for you to seethem doing so well? Because you are ofthe same age.

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Exactly. I mean, I'm the same age like Caroline, and I'm one year younger thanVictoria or Agnieszka. We grew upplaying juniors together and we know each other so well. Of course, it's inspiring to see them upthere, because it gives you also more ‑‑ you think that you can do it.

But I think for me wasa little harder, because I wanted things happening too fast, you know. I think the best thing for me lately is I'mtrying to have more patience and taking the wins and the lose the same.

Just working hard, you know. Because before I wanted things too fast, andI was little disappointed when they weren't happening.

Q. Thefact that you were in the adidas team with Sven Groeneveld and Caroline, is itsomething very important for you?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Of course. I mean, you don't find this too often in tennis, and adidas has thisplayer development program which is unbelievable. They have done so much for me.

Lately I have beenworking with Sven Groeneveld and Darren Cahill, and they've helped me alot. I feel my game is improving.

And also Caroline, she's my best friend onthe tour. We spend a lot of timetogether. It's great to be on a team,because tennis is a long sport. So whenyou feel you belong to something, it's better.

Q. Youface Samantha Stosur from Australiain your next round. Do you know muchabout her, and are you expecting another tough match?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: I mean, of course I expect a tough match,because just seven players left except me. I mean, they're all playing great, because they're playing good ifthey're here.

I know she's a greatplayer with a great experience, and she's very talented and it will be a hardmatch, but I hope I can keep the same and just focus on my side.

Q. We've seen you play on the court. Can you tell us about you offcourt, like what kind of person are you?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: That's a hard question. I mean, just saying a few words. It's tough, because I think I'm a little bitdifferent than all the others. Off thecourt I have a lot of things. I'm stillin last year of high school, so I'm still studying a little bit. I have a lot of passions, so...

I mean, it's good tohave something you can get out when you want to have some relaxing time.

Q. When did you stop going to school full‑time in Romania and started doingindependent study?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: I'm going to a normal high school, so I'vealways been traveling, you know, like since I was eight, but like first likesmall level and then I was traveling more and more.

But I always kept goingto a normal school and normal class and the teachers, when I'm not there, theyknow I'm in tournaments. Now they cansee me on TV. They know I'm notsomewhere else.

I'm going to finish this year high schooland then it's going to be easier.

Q. Soare you a very good student?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: I'm trying. (laughter.) I'm trying. Because Ithink it's nice, you know, just to have something different to focus besidestennis.

Q. What do you like to study?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: I like English, honestly.

Q. So English reading or English speaking?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Both. And of course I like geography because I'mtraveling so much, and it makes really things easier for me. Yeah, I like also Romanian and I thinkeverything, because it's interesting.

Q. So you read a lot? What's yourfavorite book?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: I do read a lot, but now I'm reading allthese Romanian authors because I have to study for my exam. In my spare time I like to read a lot, and Ilike thrillers and action, so...

Q. What I wanted to ask you, what you had a passion, but he asked you 10 differentquestions, so now I know everything. Just let me know if you have a boyfriend so we know something new.

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Yeah, I already ‑‑ I mean, no, I don'thave any boyfriend.

Q. Have you been studying during your time here?

SORANA CĪRSTEA: Honestly I haven't been studying thisweek. I think I was just trying to focuson Roland Garros. I can study after Ifinish the tournament again.

Q. When are your exams?