BUCHAREST, Romania – No.7 Irina-Camelia Begu and Alexandra Dulgheru scored big wins to keep the Romanian flag flying high into the BRD Bucharest Open quarterfinals.
Begu took on 19-year-old wildcard Jaqueline Cristian in an all-Romanian matchup, and despite the one-sided 6-4, 6-0 score line she had high hopes for her younger countrywoman.
“I've played with her on practice, like two weeks before this tournament so I knew she is a really good player,” Begu told press after the match.
“She's playing aggressive, she's young, she's coming from the juniors and she was really good on the juniors so I expected a tough game and I was ready for it.”
Cristian, ranked No.341 in the world, started off the match with an early break, getting ahead to a 4-1 lead over Begu. But the No.7 seed came roaring back, stepping in and raising her aggression.
From there, it was all Begu, who reeled off the next 11 games to close out the match in straight sets after an hour and 24 minutes.
"I started the first set a little bit slow, I think she was more aggressive than I was,” Begu said. “But in the end I tried to actually play my game. I think the difference was made [mentally] starting over from 4-1 - it was a big difference between me at that point and me after that.
“It's still far but I'm looking forward, I'm really happy that I'm playing good here at home it's such a nice tournament and I hope to be in the final, in one or both of them."
Begu’s countrywoman Alexandra Dulgheru made it two Romanians to score a victory on Thursday.
Alexandrova put together a huge upset over No.9 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova to reach her first quarterfinal of 2017, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Pauline Parmentier also knocked out a seed, coming back from a set down to defeat No.5 Elise Mertens, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Tatjana Maria rounds out the quarterfinals after moving past Nadia Podoroska, who found herself having to retire due to a right arm injury after trailing 4-1 in the first set.