The best-ranked Romanian tennis player of the moment - Sorana-Mihaela Cirstea gave an exclusive interview to Tennis Open while participating in the "Select the sport suitable for your child" event, on which occasion she talked about her injury suffered at the end of the season and her targets drawn together with her coaches for the upcoming competitive year.
Open Tennis: Sorana, the event you support, and maybe for the future of Romanian tennis.
I am very glad we started to organize such events. When I was invited to attend I said I'll be the first to come because I understand the importance of such events for the Romanian sports. I'm glad that tennis has a stand, being an exceptional measure to promote the sport in Romania.
Open Tennis: Through your results you've became a model for children who want to embrace the sport. How do you feel as a role model?
I started looking at a tennis match that involve Stefi Graff, that was the moment when I told my parents that I want to became a tennis player. This should happen now to children: looking at sports and to create models. I am happy that I got to become a standard for the younger generation, now with more responsibility. When I started to practice this sport, this was one of my wishes, to try to get as up as can and to promote the sport. The more children do sports, the more higher is my satisfaction.
Open Tennis: You, at the age of the children attending this event, were very ambitious and you wanted very much to practice tennis. What were your motivations?
I started very early tennis. At that time I did not realize everything that happened and it was normal the things I was doing: I've always had an organized schedule since I was young and I practiced swimming, martial arts, went to school and also participating in tournaments. With such a time I felt like I made any sacrifice, and I think that I had a beautiful childhood, contrary to all assumptions, because they say that when peacticing a sport since early childhood. Indeed, a different childhood, but beautiful, and if I start again, I would follow the same path.
Open Tennis: Changing the subject a little to your career, and unfortunately, the injury you have suffered on the American-hard has affected you more than it had and the situation worsened. Why did you continued to participate?
I want to clarify this, I don't have a broken ligament as is was speculated in the press. I broke a plantar fascia strip from the heel. This injury started 2 months ago, then for 4 weeks the pain disappeared and I thought the problem was fixed. The pain reappeared when I participated in China (Beijing), at which point I had 2 tournaments played: Linz and Moscow. It was my fault that I continue to attend ,I had to come home, but is the first time when I'm injured and I did not know how to negotiate the situation. Until now I didn't experience such situations and I said that I'll be ok if a force a little bit. It was my mistake, I must learn from it and in the future when I have pains I'll have to stop for my own good.
Open Tennis: Now in what stage is your injury?
I need to explain this thing too. My leg is in plaster, is immobilized. The period of immobilizaton was 3 weeks, I have to keep the plaster a week and a half, then I have to focus on recovery, which will take 3 weeks, and normally on December 1, I should resume training.
Open Tennis: The year started poorly for you, went very well, culminating in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros and to the end the injury came. Dragging a line to the end of the season, which were the positive and the negative points?
Overall this year seems good, but could have been even better, especially since I started the year not too great and I finished in top form. Unfortunately, the beginning of the season was a mirror of the end. I had good results, here I refer primarily to the Roland Garros quarter, the tournament that I proved I can, I'am there in the world elite. It was an oscillating year, but I can say that I learned a lot and I hope I won't repeat the mistakes that I've made, and in 2010 to bring more joy and outstanding results.
Open Tennis: What are your goals that you have proposed togheter with your coaches for the following season, in the conditions that, at the beginning of the year you don't have any points to defend?
Exactly, until May I don't have any point to defend, but until then I want to get fully recovered and no longer have pains, because when I start, I want to be 100% fit. I want very much to improve my game and not put pressure on me. I will probably play a little more relaxed considering that I don't have to defend any point at the beginning of the season, but, honestly I don't believe very much in defending points but in repeating the good results.
Open Tennis: How do you relax now, the end of the year, after a difficult period in which beside the tournaments in which you participated, you had the Baccalaureate exam?
Indeed it was a difficult year from the scholar point of view because I had the Baccalaureate exam, and contrary to all speculations, I learned a lot because since I was young I wanted to have good marks because this is how my parents educated me. Basically I stopped the American series to tak the exam, then I returned to the USA, being a very tiring period. I think next year, considering that they will not be this type of impediments, I'll be able to pass more easily over obstacles.
Open Tennis: What is your intersezon timetable and what will be the tournaments that you will be present at the beginning of the year?
At present I hope everything goes well for me. Since I have not decided if I will do the recovery in the country or in Germany, I still tend to perform it abroad. Basically I'll go to recovery on November 12 and I will return on December 1, at which point I'll start training. Normally it requires that on December 1 to go to Las Vegas and after this period of preparation to go to Australia, but I don't know if this timetable will remain in effect. I'm sure that I'll start the 2010 season with the Hopman Cup. I am very happy that I'll join Victor Hanescu, is a competition that I follow every year and I wanted to play very much in Perth, Australia. It is very difficult to go there that because is reached only by invitation and I was very happy to hear the news that Romania was invited. I hope we do well in this competition. Then I'll play tournemant before the Australian Open.
Open Tennis: In a top made by the official WTA website your profle page ranked 13th, ahead of players such as Victoria Azarenka or Daniela Hantuchova. Why do you think you hav so much succes in the media?
I heard this recently , and normally I'm excited. After all, to be honest, we are where we are because of the fans so then everything is because of them, we try to give best of us. Tennis is a sport in which the appearance matter, but to reach the attention of the media you need to have good results, because if you are around Top100 no one will notice you. Indeed, I can say that the results mattered but also because of my open nature, I'm friendly and I always try to help and give back all that the tennis gave me.
Open Tennis: Besides Stefi Graff, you admire very much Andre Agassi, who is involved these days in a drug scandal. After this scandal have you changed your opinion about him?
Andre Agassi was, is and will remain an idol for me. This situation will not change my perception of him. I had the opportunity to know him, to play against him in Las Vegas while in training, and he's a champion in the true sense of the word, both on the field, as well as outside the field. Andre said he was not doped, but took drugs because of personal problems, so there is not a doping problem and didn't affect his sport performances, so for me he remains the same champion. I respect his decision, it was his desire to confess all these things to the media.
Open Tennis: It is known that between you and Caroline Woszniacky it's a very close relation of friendship. Did you talk to her during the champions tournament?
Yes it is. Caroline is one of the best friends of mine from the circit and I'm really happy for her results. I've watched every game she played in Doha, I talked before and after the tournament with her and she asked me if I go with her on vacation. Unfortunately, because of injury will no longer be going on holiday with her. I'm happy for her because I know how much she worked and the satisfactions that are there can't be compared to anything.