BUCHAREST, Romania – No.2 seed Carla Suárez Navarro dropped just one game and needed just 55 minutes to seal her spot into the second round of the Bucharest Open.
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“Today I played a really good match and I am happy to be in the next round,” Suárez Navarro said. “I liked the crowd, they love tennis and coming here and play the tournament with this crowd is great for all the players.
“Every match will be tough here, but the most important match is the next one. Every time I go to a tournament I try to be in the final so I came here to play the final.”
Up against Annika Beck, the No.34-ranked Spaniard broke serve seven times and posted strong serve numbers – winning 69% of points behind her first serve and 64% of second serve points – to secure the 6-0, 6-1 victory.
Ekaterina Alexandrova, Cagla Buyukakcay and Nadia Podoroska all join Suárez Navarro in the second round after battling past tough three-set matches.
No.9 seed Alexandrova recovered strongly from dropping the first set to Barbora Krejcikova to score a 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory. Turkey’s Buyukakcay narrowly escaped Polona Hercog, needing a final set tiebreaker to seal the 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) win. And Podoroska righted a mid-match letdown to advance 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.
Also in action on Day 1, two wildcards flew the red, yellow and blue flag for Romania but met mixed fortunes. Jaqueline Cristian delighted the home crowd by scoring an upset over Kateryna Kozlova, coming back from a set down to oust the Ukrainian 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile, countrywoman Irina Bara fell to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 6-4 earlier in the day.
“I feel incredible,” Cristian said after the victory. “It was the win I needed in order to prove myself that the hard work from the last months was worth it.
“I have a new coach, I came here after a series of losses and I was feeling a little insecure before this match. But playing at home, with the crowd on my side, motivated me, made me to believe in myself.
“What happened in the first set and in the first games of the second set was a result of the huge emotions I was having. Especially in the first set, when the score was tied, 4-4, I lost my confidence. Fortunately, I started again to believe in me, more and more, and you know the result.”