BUCHAREST, Romania - No.5 seed Sorana Cirstea navigated through a tricky opening set to dispatch Turkish No.1 Cagla Buyukakcay, 6-3, 6-3, to reach the second round of the BRD Bucharest Open.
"It was a good win for be because the last time I played against her I lost in Istanbul," Cirstea said after the match. "I think it was a good start of the tournament and it’s a very good win for me."
Born in Bucharest, the 28-year-old twice has been ranked as high as No.21 back in 2013. Playing on Centre Court, Cirstea trailed Buyukakcay, a former TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup champion, by a break to start the match before reversing the trend to twice lead by a break herself.
"It was a slower start and, of course, it was the first match playing at home and I was a little bit nervous to see my friends, my family here."
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While Buyukakcay was able to break back once, she couldn't draw level when it came time for Cirstea to serve for the opening set. The Romanian wouldn't drop serve again in the match, breaking twice more to secure victory after one hour and 18 minutes on court.
"I think for a first round it was a very good win. I played quite aggressively, of course a few extra mistakes, but I am happy with the why things went today."
Standing between Cirstea and a first quarterfinal in Bucharest is Belgium's Maryna Zanevska, who beat countrywoman Yslaine Bonaventure in straight sets on Monday.
"I understand this is my game and I have to focus on the positive side, meaning the winners, as long as the winners are more than the unforced errors then I think I’m safe.
"I am not bothered by the hot weather; it does affect the match conditions a bit because the courts play much faster, the ball is jumping high and flying a little bit more. But this is tennis, the one that’s the quickest is the one that will win. So, I am not bothered so much and I actually enjoy playing here."
Earlier in the day, former World No.2 Vera Zvonareva won an all-Russian battle against Ekaterina Alexandrova, 6-1, 6-2, and top seed Anastasija Sevastova rallied from a set down to defeat Dalila Jakupovic, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(1).
No.3 seed Irina-Camelia Begu was the biggest upset victim of the day, falling to top Tunisian Ons Jabeur, 6-2, 6-1, while No.2 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu knocked out Danka Kovinic, 6-2, 6-4.