BUCHAREST, Romania - With Romania celebrating one of its best eras in women's tennis, the Bucharest Open will debut on the WTA calendar the week of July 7 - the week after Wimbledon.
The International-level event will be held outdoors on the red clay courts of the Romanian capital, and will offer $250,000 in total prize money. It replaces the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
Romania is enjoying a renaissance on the WTA at the moment, with Simona Halep, Sorana Cirstea, Monica Niculescu and Alexandra Cadantu all ranked in the Top 100, and former Top 40 players Alexandra Dulgheru and Irina-Camelia Begu seemingly headed back to the elite from injury.
Halep and Cirstea have been leading that renaissance, both reaching Grand Slam quarterfinals over the last few years - Cirstea at the 2009 French Open and Halep at the 2014 Australian Open - and Halep recently becoming just the third Romanian ever to break into the Top 10, doing so after that run in Melbourne (following in the footsteps of former Top 10 players Virginia Ruzici and Irina Spirlea).
The Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest was a WTA stop for 18 years and boasted an impressive roster of former champions, including a number of players who have been to the Top 5 - Amanda Coetzer, Magdalena Maleeva, Jelena Jankovic and Sara Errani. Halep was the event's last winner in 2013.