Cîrstea, one victory away from a historic ranking: we know how much he will climb in the world hierarchy if he passes Paolini today

Sorana Cîrstea (22 WTA) feels at home in Dubai! Which also explains her decision to buy a house here where, according to her, she spends several months a year when winter wreaks havoc in Europe.

Sorana Cîrstea will turn 34 on April 7

Now, at the Dubai Tennis Championships 2024, “Sori” is making the best tournament of this season in which he had started badly. With three consecutive defeats. Only in Abu-Dhabi and Doha, the athlete born in Târgoviște tasted victory, but, including in these competitions from the East, Cîrstea had big fluctuations. Proof is also the fact that, in total, he collected three victories and two defeats. Back home in Dubai, however, everything has changed. In good! And after the victories with Kenin (55 WTA), Kudermetova (19 WTA) and Vekic (31 WTA), on Thursday came a match to tell the grandchildren!

Against Marketa Vondrousova (Czech Republic, 24, 8 WTA), Sorana looked like she was in a hurry to get home to quietly lick her wounds. Because, for more than an hour, Cîrstea was physically on the field, but it didn't count in this duel! It was not for nothing that the scoreboard showed, at one point, 6-2, 5-1 for Vondrousova, champion at Wimbledon 2023 and finalist at the French Open 2019. From here, however, from this score, the career comeback for “Sori” began. On her way to a fabulous victory, the Romanian saved six match points and, after 2 hours and 43 minutes, prevailed with an incredible 2-6, 7-6, 6-2!

Even Cîrstea admitted, in the interview after the match, at Digi Sport, that she didn't even dream of this success: “At 1-5 in the second set, I wasn't even thinking I was going to win, I was just thinking about extending the points, but somehow I managed to get this win. I don't even know how. I think it's the biggest comeback of my career“.

She can become the oldest of the elite

And, to complete a beautiful story, after the most spectacular comeback can also follow the best ranking in Sorana's career so far. And this at almost 34 years old, when other players retired a long time ago!

Specifically, if she passes Jasmine Paolini (Italy, 28 years old, 26 WTA) in the semifinals of the Dubai tournament, Cîrstea will accumulate 2,483 points, a total with which she will climb to 15 WTA. It would be her best performance from the perspective of the WTA hierarchy, given that Sorana has never been higher than 21st place. She is still in this position in the live rankings, after joining the ace box in Dubai.

Moreover, if she passes Paolini, the Romanian will become the oldest athlete in the elite. Because now in front of her is the Czech Petra Kvitova, occupying the 17th WTA place, a month older than Sorana. And, to finish the analysis of the ranking, one last clarification is needed. If he wins the trophy in Dubai, Cîrstea will climb even higher, starting from Monday. She will have 2,833 points and climb up to 14th WTA. Surely, even Sorana did not dream of such a scenario, at the beginning of the week, when she started her journey in the Emirates!

Cîrstea – Paolini starts from 0-2

Sorana's next opponent advanced to the semifinals without playing. The Italian Paolini – at 1.60 meters she is among the smallest athletes in the circuit – took advantage of the withdrawal of Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan, 24 years old, 4 WTA) due to medical problems and ended up in the box of aces. The match Cîrstea – Paolini, scheduled for today (after 2.30 p.m., Digi Sport 2) starts from 2-0 for the 28-year-old Italian, as can be seen below:

*French Open 2023: 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 Paolini

*Portoroz 2021: 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 Paolini


of dollars will receive Cîrstea for qualifying in the semi-finals. If he makes it to the finals, the check will be $308,320. The Dubai champion will collect $523,485.