BUCHAREST, Romania – Irina-Camelia Begu is the highest seeded Romanian left standing at the BRD Bucharest Open after Sorana Cirstea suffered a shock defeat to the unseeded Ana Bogdan on the last day of Round 1 action.
Read more: 10 things to know about Gstaad & Bucharest
With the absence of defending champion and World No.2 Simona Halep, No.6 seed Cirstea was taking up the mantle of top Romanian at the Bucharest Open, but her stint at the top was short-lived.
Her countrywoman Bogdan, ranked 55 spots below Cirstea at No.108, started off the match on a tear, breaking three times in a row to snatch up a 5-0 lead in the opening set. Cirstea bravely battled off three set points to stay in it and break straight back, reeling off four games of her own and coming two points away from leveling the score.
But Bogdan, who still enjoyed a comfortable break lead, served out the set on the next time of asking. After the first four games of the second went the way of the server, it was the lower-ranked Romanian who accelerated again, winning the last five games in row to close out the match 6-4, 6-2 after an hour and 36 minutes.
"It was definitely a game with an amount of tension, for me and for her, especially since, for the second time at this tournament, two Romanians were playing against each other in the first round,” Bogdan explained afterwards. “Sadly - happily actually, one of the Romanian players is going forward and I am glad it is me.
“The crowd was a very fair one, on my side and on her side as well and I am glad it was that way.”
Meanwhile, No.7 seeded Begu made her way into the second round in Bucharest with little problems against Ivana Jorovic, 6-4, 6-1.
Begu opened the match with an early break, then held onto the lead to weather four straight breaks and edge through the first set. In the second, it was one-way traffic for the Romanian, who notched three more breaks and closed out the match after an hour and 23 minutes.
Also through to round two are Romanian wildcard Elena-Gabriela Ruse, who eased past Isabella Shiniakova 6-2, 6-1, and Romanian qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru, who took down Sesil Karatantcheva 6-1, 6-2.
They join fellow countrywoman Jaqueline Cristian, a wildcard who scored a big victory yesterday, to make it five Romanians through to the second round of the BRD Bucharest Open.