Romanian tennis player Sorana Cirstea recently criticized Serena Williams, defending her compatriot, Simona Halep against shady remarks from Williams. Halep who had just received a four-year ban from the International Tennis Integrity Agency, following a positive test for the hemoglobin-enhancing drug Roxadustat during the 2022 US Open, is strongly contesting against the verdict.
Shortly after Halep’s ban was announced, Williams posted a cryptic message on Twitter, referring to their 2019 Wimbledon final, which Halep won, with the phrase “8 is a better number.” Her loss to Halep prevented Williams from winning her eighth Wimbledon singles title. Serena even exchanged a playful banter with her husband Alexis Ohanian on social media who had made a jibe at Simona Halep.
It seemed to suggest that the now-retired Williams and her husband believe her loss could be connected to the doping scandal. However, Sorana Cirstea defended Simona. She stated, “I know Simona well, and I truly believe she never knowingly used doping. This suspension is affecting an innocent person.”
Sorana Cirstea recently talked about Simona in a new interview.
“I know Simona. I don’t think she ever consciously doped. This suspension is for an innocent person”
“I was afraid to take anything, I was afraid to take an aspirin. I’m maybe a little paranoid, but it’s no joke.… pic.twitter.com/yTAkXFeCr0
— Romanian Tennis (@WTARomania) September 19, 2023
She further criticized Serena Williams, saying, “Serena as a player was extraordinarily good. As a person, she always had this arrogance. She didn’t accept when someone could beat her or take a title from her.”
Before their 2019 Wimbledon final, Williams had won eight out of nine previous meetings with Halep. The 2019 final marked her first loss to Halep in a Grand Slam. It will be interesting to see how the doping saga has shaped the tennis community’s reaction to the entire issue.
Sorana Cirstea faces backlash from the tennis community
Sports journalist Matt Dowell has worded a strong response against Sorana Cirstea who had recently criticized Serena Williams. Her comments on Serena were in response to her swipe at Simona Halep, who had received a four-year doping suspension.
Dowell stated, “Wild to me that people have been more up in arms over Serena’s tweet than they have been over Halep’s actual drug suspension…bold to say this about Serena when Cirstea won a total of 7 games in 3 matches against her.”
Tennis fans couldn’t agree with Dowell more. They joined in to criticize Sorana Cirstea’s comments on Williams as well;
There is nothing more arrogant than doping.
— Edbed (@Edbed19) September 20, 2023
I mean, we all know Sorana is misogynistic, sexist, racist, transphobic. So no surprise here.
— GB Stats (@GB_Stats) September 20, 2023
Dowell pointed out that people seemed more upset about Serena’s tweet rather than Halep’s doping suspension. He found it surprising that Cirstea would disgrace Serena’s standing, particularly given her own dismal 0-3 record against the tennis legend.