Sorana Cristea is the winner of a tennis tournament in Istanbul. Some tennis fans, just like Cristea, did not expect her to be the one to win, but tennis sometimes writes strange stories. Cristea had a fear of clay before the tournament because she obviously doesn’t like playing on clay.
Yet she surprised herself with this title “Yes, it’s a bit funny because when I started on clay after Miami, I was like ‘Oh, I really don’t like this surface anymore,'” she said, as quoted by tennismajors “It was a funny feeling because the whole last year it was during the lockdown, I was practicing on hard court and then only played two events on clay, Palermo and French Open, and those were very short for me, so it’s been mostly a year and a half on hard court, so when I came back on clay, I was like ‘I don’t like this at all.'
” The victories at the beginning of 2021 obviously gave her extra self-confidence “Somehow I managed to keep the good form that I had the last couple of months and maybe added a bit more variety to my game, and I think also the confidence, the fact that I’ve been winning a lot of matches this year, it plays a big role,” she said.
However, experience seems to be crucial in every sport, including Cirstea, and she plays much better and smarter than at the beginning of her career. “Yes, definitely I’ve always been an aggressive player but probably sometimes a bit too hectic."
"So now I feel like I found more discipline on the court, and I’m trying to play smarter, even if I’m trying to play aggressive, and I think probably that was the change for me. "I tried to look at the game in a different way, a bit like playing chess, and not just hitting hard, and in my mind, it kind of made the click,” she said.
Just like everyone else, she had trouble coping with the pandemic, but it seems that the experience helped her get to know herself better. “I think just before Covid I was struggling a little bit, I was doubting a little bit my game, I was doubting a little bit the way I was working,” Cirstea said.
“I didn’t really have the results I wanted, so of course the first period where we were in the first lockdown, I was a month without playing, but after that luckily, Romania was not as tough as other countries, so I could use the gym."
"I could go to a tennis court, and I had about four months of practice, and that changed my mentality”. Cirstea still feels the competitive spirit and is eager for the trophy “That’s when I realised that I love competing, I’m very eager to get back to the tournaments, I found the joy again, to be on the court, and I didn’t just think of the results, [I thought about] the joy of just playing, and for me it was like a boost,” she said.
“Also probably I was about six months at home and this was the longest since I was a kid, so I missed the travelling, I missed the luggage, I missed all those things, you know." "So I started to look at tennis in a different way, and I started to find tennis enjoyable again no matter the result”.