Bucharest resident Monica Niculescu cruised past friend and doubles partner Klara Koukalova on the first day of the inaugural Bucharest Open.
WTA Staff

BUCHAREST, Romania - The first day of the inaugural Bucharest Open saw three seeds go down, with Monica Niculescu's defeat of No.3 seed Klara Koukalova among the surprises.

Having lost four of five matches coming into this event, Bucharest resident Niculescu looked right at home on Monday. On serve at 4-3 in the first set, she reeled off eight straight games en route to a 6-3, 6-0 victory that saw her convert on five of six break points.

"Klara is my doubles partner and good friend, so I was not happy when I saw the draw," Niculescu said of Koukalova, with whom she has captured two WTA doubles titles this season. "But I played a great match and am happy that I won.

"It was my first time playing at home other than a Fed Cup doubles match where my opponents retired after one game. I didn't know what to expect, but there were lots of supporters and the crowd was very loud, which was great. Hopefully, I will continue to advance and even more supporters will see me."

The tightest match of the day saw Lara Arruabarrena snap a five-match losing streak by edging fifth-seeded Annika Beck, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5).

Also pulling off an upset was Kristina Kucova, who down 4-3 in the first set against No.6 seed Anna Schmiedlova, won five straight games to seize the momentum in her 6-3, 6-3 triumph.

The lone seed to advance was eighth-seeded Polona Hercog, who converted on four of five break points in her 6-4, 6-3 win over Anna Tatishvili.

Also Monday, four players secured qualifying berths - Kiki Bertens, Sesil Karatantcheva, Anett Kontaveit and Elitsa Kostova. And though she lost her final qualifying match, Indy De Vroome was rewarded a spot into the main draw as a lucky loser with the withdrawal of Kristina Mladenovic. She will have her hands full in the first round, as she will take on No.1 seed Simona Halep.