Cirstea, Ruse Advance To Semis At Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge

STARNBERG, December 10, 2020

Two Romanians advanced to the semi-finals of the 23rd Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge held at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa in Dubai. Sorana Cirstea knocked out No. 6 seed Barbora Krejcikova from the Czech Republic 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-3 in Thursday’s stage of the final eight.

Cirstea capitalized on three of her four break-point chances to secure victory in two hours and 28 minutes. The 30-year-old from Bucharest will next challenge Polona Hercog of Slovenia. The No. 2 seed of the ITF World Tennis Tour W100 event edged out No. 7 seed Arantxa Rus from the Netherlands 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 18 minutes.

In other action, Romanian qualifier Elena Gabriela Ruse continued her fine form in the desert this week, beating Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-1, 6-4. The World No. 177 outpointed her opponent 63-43 after one hour and 31 minutes.

“I have been putting in a lot of hard work and effort in improving all aspects of my game. The past few months gave me enough time to ponder and reflect what I need to do so that I can be a better player in the future. Now with the tournaments on in full swing I know exactly what is needed of me, be it the physical or the mental part of the game,” Ruse told Gulf News after securing her best career win.

“I have been working hard, but I need to work even harder with the conviction that I can be where I would want to be in my tennis career. I am prepared to take my work even more seriously with the conviction that the results will show later.”

Up next for Ruse will be Katerina Siniakova, who battled past No. 3 seed Heather Watson from Great Britain 6-2, 7-5. The No. 5 seed from the Czech Republic finished the encounter after one hour and 40 minutes.