One of last week's
headline-hitting events in women's professional tennis was the WTA tennis tournament
in Linz, Austria, an event with 190,000 Euros up for grabs. US Open winner Emma Raducanu
was one of the seeded players in Linz, alongside former WTA leader Simona Halep.
Of the Romanian tennis players who competed in Linz, best-placed was Jaqueline Cristian,
who played her first women's singles final in a WTA tournament, in Austria. Reason
enough for Radio Romania International to designate Jaqueline Cristian the Athlete
of the week.
Jaqueline Cristian played the qualifiers and in the last round she was
outclassed by Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko in three sets, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. Cristian
was nonetheless included in the tournament's main draw as a "lucky loser". In the
first round, Jaqueline Cristian defeated Russia's Kamila Rahimova, 2-6, 6-2,
7-5. The Romanian went past the tournament's round of 16 as Sweden opponent Rebeca
Peterson pulled out of the match when in the very first set, Cristian had a 5-2 lead.
In the quarterfinals, Jaqueline Cristian defeated Russian opponent Veronika
Kudermetova, 6-3, 7-6. In the semi-finals, Cristian's scheduled match against Simona
Halep was no longer played since the former WTA player pulled out of
competition because of an injury. In the final, Jaqueline Cristian was
dramatically defeated by Alison Riske of the USA, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5, after two
hours and 24 minutes of play.
Cristian was born on June 5, 1998, in Bucharest. She won 10 ITF women's singles titles and a similar number of titles, 10, in the doubles version of the
tournaments she played in. In 2015, at BRD Bucharest Open, Jaqueline Cristian
made her debut in a WTF tournament, in the women's doubles, pairing up with Elena
- Gabriela Ruse. It was also in Bucharest and also pairing up with Elena -
Gabriela Ruse that Jaqueline Cristian played her first women's doubles final in
2019. Back then Cristian and Ruse were defeated by the Slovak-Czech pair made
of Viktória Kužmová and Kristýna Plíšková.
(Translation by Eugen Nasta)