And the Romanian is off to the Rogers Cup Final. Unseeded Sorana Cirstea got by Li Na of China early Saturday afternoon to clinch a spot in Sunday’s final. She will now await the winner of Saturday evening’s tilt between Agnieska Radwanska and Serena Williams.
For the first time all week, the crowd at centre court was electric as Romanian flags were draped and flown all over the venue in support of Cirstea who, quite frankly, has not been given the credit she deserves this week. While many were cheering for Li Na, it was evident that the 23-year-old native of Bucharest had the majority of the fans in her corner.
The semi-final got off to an auspicious start for Cirstea who won the opening set in decisive fashion, 6-1. In the second set, the buoyant Na stormed back holding a 4-1 lead. That is until Cirstea showed up the elder Na with a greater dose of resiliency, fighting back to take a 6-5 lead.
Despite being pushed to match point, Na stayed strong ultimately forcing the set to a tiebreak where she took a 5-2 lead. That is until the ever-irrepressible Cirstea mounted one final comeback, winning the tiebreak and winning the match 6-1, 7-6.
Following Li Na’s quarter-final win yesterday, she (Na) was asked about the prospect of facing Petra Kvitova in the semi-final and not Cirstea. Following her win over Na on Saturday, I had a chance to ask the Romanian whether she saw the omission as a sign of disrespect.
“No, definitely I don’t see that as a sign of disrespect,” the 23-year-old responded. “When you look at the draw, I came into this tournament as an outsider. Every single match, I was playing a seeded (sic). And of course when you look on the paper, of course Petra was the favourite.
“I think it has nothing to do with disrespect, you know. It just has to do with facts and reality, and I think that’s actually a normal question. So I don’t mind at all about that.”
After spending the week quietly moving along in the tournament, Sorana Cirstea suddenly has a plethora of support and regardless of who wins the other semi-final, Cirstea should be confident heading into Sunday’s final knowing she needs to make just one more step to complete her magical run here in Toronto.