Sorana Cirstea and Barbora Krejcikova will contest the final of Strasbourg International on Saturday. Both Cirstea and Krejcikova came through tough three-setters in their respective semi-finals. In the first semi-final between Cirstea and eighth seed Magda Linette, the latter quickly went up a set against the Romanian thanks to an early break of serve.
The second set, too, looked like it would head the same way as the first as Linette broke Cirstea early in the set. However, Cirstea turned the match around as she first broke back before holding her own and piling on the pressure on Linette to take the second set and level the match.
The final set was almost one-sided in favour of Cirstea who pocketed a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win. In her post-match press conference, Cirstea said, “I thought from the beginning it was a very good match, very good level, both of us were playing well”.
Then, talking about her game in the first set, she added, “I thought I was missing too many returns, not putting the first serve in, and I think those were the two areas where I focused a bit more. To try and start with the first serve, and put the return in, and don't give those free points, and I think that made the difference”.
Strasbourg International: Barbora Krejcikova's the last seed standing
The fifth-seeded Krejcikova, meanwhile, took down the resilient German qualifier Jule Niemeier 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 14 minutes. The German served for the opening set in the 10th game but was broken back in trying to do so.
The 11th game saw her break back Krejcikova for the second time in the set with another opportunity to serve it out in the 12th game. Niemeier didn’t stumble the second time and was able to take a lead in the match. Krejcikova rebounded in the match in the latter two sets and while Niemeier fought back briefly in the second set, it wasn’t enough to thwart Krejcikova.
The final of the Strasbourg International will be a tale of contrasts for both players. While Sorana Cirstea will be attempting to win the second title for the 2021 season, Barbora Krejcikova will be vying for the first title of her career.