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3 - 11 feb. 2024 Cluj-Napoca

Jaqueline Cristian qualifies in the Transylvania Open semifinal for the first time in her career. Harriet Dart continues her great journey in Cluj

Jaqueline Cristian qualifies for the first time in her career at the Transylvania Open semifinals, after an excellent victory against Anastasija Sevastova: 6-3, 7-5.

It was another high-level performance from Jaqueline, who continued the good tennis shown the day before during her win against Clara Tauson. Jaq was very focused, always chose the right decisions, was precise and balanced in attack and defense, and countered Sevastova’s attempts in an inspired way, to briefly break her pace from the back of the court.

Jaq led from the start, and the only difficult moment for her in this match was from 5-3 in the second set, when she served for the match. From this score, Cristian saw herself caught up, tied, and having to save three consecutive break points at 5-5. Faced with this challenge, Jaqueline responded promptly and flawlessly: she saved all three break points – all, winning her points, took the advantage again and at 6-5 she threw her best at Sevastova to close in two sets.

”I am very happy to be able to show this level of tennis in front of the fans. I tried to focus on myself and my game, knowing that she is an opponent with a lot of experience, and I tried not to look beyond the net, to do what I knew best, to enjoy being on the field, and to finish the match peacefully, regardless of the result.”

Today’s result takes Cristian into her first WTA semi-final since July 2023 (Prague) and she will climb to 70th place (at least) starting Monday. She also becomes the third player from Romania, after Simona Halep and Gabriela Ruse, to qualify for the semifinals of the Transylvania Open.

For her second WTA final of her career, Jaqueline will face the winner of the match Ana Bogdan – Arantxa Rus.

In the first quarter-final of the day, the English player Harriet Dart continued her excellent tennis this week, defeating Iberian Nuria Parrizas Diaz in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Dart crosses an impressive form in Cluj; started her tournament in the qualifications and dropped only one set in five matches (Ghioroaie, Zavatska in the qualifications – Bondar, Cocciarreto, Parrizas-Diaz on the main draw).

”I am very happy, I think we we were both nervous, but I am happy that I fought hard, I kept my calm and I won important points. I am not a doubles player, but I like it and it helps me with the single matches because I need to play under pressure and to improve my net game”, said Harriet.

It is the first semifinal of her career for Dart, she had lost during her four previous appearances in the quarter-finals of a WTA tournament. Harriet improves the successful performance that Emma Raducanu did in 2021 in Cluj, the previous woman who reached the quarterfinals at the Transylvania Open.