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July 6, 2017

Sorana Cirstea

Wimbledon, London, England

S. CIRSTEA/B. Mattek-Sands

4-6, 7-6 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A tough way that match finished. Talk us through what you saw, how it all played out for you.
SORANA CIRSTEA: Definitely. I mean, was heartbreaking to see her that way. I've hit the ball towards her direction, and then I did not really see what happened. I saw she was on the floor. Then, yeah, she started screaming. I went over. I saw her knee out.

Then, yeah, I turned around and told them to bring a stretcher or something. Because I think everyone froze. No one was having any reaction.

And then, yeah, was heartbreaking because she went into shock. Took a while until the medical team was there. I think for long time it was me, her husband and my physio. My physio jumped and he was there.

Yeah, it's not easy because at the end of the day it's not about tennis any more. We are like a family. You want everyone to be okay. It doesn't matter you win, you lose, once you are out, you want them to be okay.

So, yeah, I hope is not as bad that it seemed, and she can have a quick, quick recovery. I'm very sad about everything that happened.

Q. When you say her knee was out, what do you mean?
SORANA CIRSTEA: Yeah, her knee was in a very weird position. I've never seen anything like this probably except in the movies. And, yeah, I panicked a little bit, as well.

Then, yeah, I called for help, but no one was coming. Then, yeah, tried to comfort her as much as I could. But, I mean, you could feel the pain.

Q. You seem to think it took a bit longer than it should be to get the help there.
SORANA CIRSTEA: Yes, I mean, I think we should probably just watch the video, the whole video, to see what happened.

But for me at least, I was there on the ground, and it felt forever. It was me, her husband and my physio. It took a really long time not only for the stretcher to get there but, I mean, I don't know for how long she was on the ground, but I would say 10, 15 minutes. For me, that's really long.

Q. Could you tell us a bit about playing on the surface. Did it feel a bit greasier to you than usual?
SORANA CIRSTEA: No, no. I mean, we all know grass, it's quite dangerous sometimes. Especially as you get through the days, it's less grass and more sand or whatever. Then also was very dry today because was quite hot.

I think all of us, we know when we move -- I also had two quite tough balls where I almost fell over. So we all know grass is a little bit more dangerous than, I don't know, hard court or clay.

But, I mean, what happened today was unfortunate. I mean, it was just bad luck. I can't say anything else. Yeah, could have happened to anyone.

Q. How do you feel? Must be hard for you to comprehend now.
SORANA CIRSTEA: Yeah, but it's not about me. It should be at this point zero about me, it should just be about her. She's the one suffering, in hospital right now.

From my side, I tried to help as much as I could, to comfort her, to be there. Actually, Bethanie is my friend. We get along so well. She's an unbelievably good girl. You don't even want this to happen to your worst enemy. But to your friend, you know...

I don't think it matter how I feel. I think she's the important one.

Q. You looked upset when you climbed over the net.
SORANA CIRSTEA: Upset in which way?

Q. Taken aback.
SORANA CIRSTEA: I crossed over, then I saw the knee. I've never seen anything like this in my life, such an injury. So then I think I was a little bit shocked, as well.

Then, I don't know, I screamed something to the chair umpire or someone to bring help or something because was serious. Yeah, I still remember the shock I had when I saw the knee.

Q. We had a situation earlier in the tournament where a player said he was bored, he didn't care. Do you think an incident like this will somehow remind players how special their career is, how special and fortunate they are to play at the top of a great sport?
SORANA CIRSTEA: I think probably the case you are talking about, I think it's a unique one, or one. I think if you ask all other players, I mean, we are so happy, so grateful to be here.

I think for me, this is the biggest event not in tennis, in sports world. I'm talking from my point of view, but I know a lot of people share my view, as well.

I do feel very fortunate, grateful and lucky to be here. And three years ago I was injured in my shoulder, and I remember I said a million times I was on the couch watching the matches here and crying. I remember I really wanted to be here.

I think for all of us, or for most of us, it means a lot. Cases like today, no, it reminds you, it was just bad luck. It wasn't that she did anything wrong. Cases like this remind you you should be grateful and feel lucky for what you have. Just be healthy, because you never know when it's changing.

Q. You said you tried to comfort her. What conversation, if any, did you have with her?
SORANA CIRSTEA: No, she went into shock. She kept staying, Sorana help me, Sorana help me, Sorana help me.

I said, I'm here, I'm here, I'm here.

I think was tough because she was stuck on this, Sorana, help me, Sorana, help me.

I said, I am here, you are strong, you can do this.

I was trying, but of course I felt useless. In this kind of moment when she was screaming so loud, you watch the knee, it was a very uncomfortable moment. I felt, yeah, a little bit useless. I wish I could have done more.

Q. We couldn't see what happened to her knee. Can you describe what you saw?
SORANA CIRSTEA: I mean, probably you can see on the images. I'm sure if you look back at them, you could see straightaway that the knee was not in the right position.

I think her ratela [sic], the kneecap, it was I think out a little bit. I'm not a doctor, I'm not a specialist. I've never seen anything like this. But it wasn't in a normal position.

That's why also I kind of freaked out, because I've never seen this. I spoke with my physio afterwards, if he knows a little bit more. Hopefully it's not as bad as it seems. Hopefully she won't need surgery or something like this.

Q. Is it strange or worrying for help to take a long time to arrive? Is it something that players might need to raise?
SORANA CIRSTEA: Yeah, actually I did not digest this yet because it was so quick and everything. But I don't want to say anything. If someone wants to check, probably they should check the video and time to see how long it took.

But for me, I was there, it felt like so long. And I don't know, there are sports where you see something's happening, you see straightaway the help. Like I know football, box, all the others, it's straightaway.

Which here, I mean, it took a while. So of course you wonder what happen if it was a heart issue or something like this. Yes, of course, you start wonder.

But I think someone has to take the video and actually time and see how long it took for people to get there. Because for me, I think she was too long on the ground. I mean, I was there for 10, 15 minutes, then I left and the stretcher was not there yet.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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