Circuit

(Photo: BEC)
Back-to-back finals
Date: 11/18/2023 12:17 AM
Published by : Gaia Diakhite Becerra (BEC)
“Happy to be in the final again. We played our last Irish Open in 2015, so it was a long time ago. I'm happy with the performance tonight; we can be proud.”

Stefani and Gabriela Stoeva are through to the Irish Open 2023 finals after a commanding 21-9, 21-15 victory over Denmark’s Julie Finne-Ipsen/Mai Surrow in the semifinals. Having won the Scottish Open a month ago, it is back-to-back finals for their pair on the European Circuit.

The Bulgarian pair will face another Danish duo in Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen tomorrow in the finals, opponents they know very well. Having faced each other 12 times, the Stoevas have a staggering advantage in the head-to-head, winning eleven of their matchups. Regardless of this, they know that every game is a new challenge.

Stefani has the utmost respect for the Danish pair, “I think it won't be easy, even when you see the (head-to-head) score. It's hard because it really depends on how you perform on the court. If we give our best, follow the tactic, and just enjoy our game, I think we can win it tomorrow, but as I said, we need to be focused.”

Earlier this year, the Stoeva sisters announced that it would be their last professional season together as doubles partners. While Gabriela will retire from the game, Stefani will look to establish herself in the singles draw.

Gabriela reflected on the many years they have played together, “We’ve enjoyed it. We’ve played so many years together, and sure, we sometimes had tough matches and ups and downs in our game and in life because, of course, we're sisters, but we tried to just enjoy the game.”

But even though they know the end is near, it is not something they think about, considering the season is still very long, and they still have some goals and achievements to conquer before calling it quits.

“Our main goal will be to qualify for the Olympics 2024, but first of all, we will try to win one more European Championship next year. So yeah, we have a lot of goals in front of us before the time when we separate. This comes, so we just try to follow the season. It's not finished yet this year; we have tomorrow's tournament after this one, and yeah, I think we will try just to enjoy the game and win as many matches as possible for us,” further explained Gabriela.
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