LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Fiona Ferro completed an astonishing comeback to defeat No.4 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu and move into quarterfinals of the Lausanne Ladies’ Open with a hard-fought 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-5 victory.
After a one-sided opening set that lasted little over 20 minutes and went the way of the Romanian, there seemed little scope for a comeback, particularly as the WTA World No.98 fell 4-1 down in the second. However, she steeled herself impressively to rally back into the match then take the decider.
Ferro, who won the previous meeting between the players, 6-0, 6-1 in a 2016 ITF event in Mamaia, Romania, was first on the board with a comfortable service hold but thereafter did not win any of the following seven games.
In a lopsided first set, Buzarenscu’s serve dominated. She did not drop a point when her first delivery found its mark in the set, while her opponent was only winning 50% of points in such scenarios. Worse for the Frenchwoman, her second serve was obliterated to the tune of only 24% of points won.
As a result, it was the WTA World No.55 who ran away with the opener, converting three of four break points and only allowing her opponent six points in total after the first game.
After a first-set blip in her opening match against Stefanie Voegele, Buzarnescu ran away with the match, 1-6, 6-1, 6-0, and was equally keen to make short work of Ferro.
The WTA World No.98 offered stronger resistance in the second set, however, providing far more competition even in games she lost as she fell 4-1 behind.
When she was unable to covert a break point at 4-2 - a game that saw eight deuces and Ferro deliver her two best winners of the day, one an acutely angled crosscourt forehand and the other a deft drop - it seemed her chance had gone.
But when the increasingly frustrated Romanian served for the match, the Frenchwoman threw everything at her and was rewarded with a break that ultimately led to a tiebreak.
In that decisive game, Ferro completed her recovery from the brink, chalking up the first six points before sealing the set as her opponent blazed long.
Although the momentum was, at this point, firmly in Ferro’s favor, Buzarnescu gritted her teeth to retain parity at the beginning of the deciding set. Indeed, the Romanian was even first to land a blow as she broke in the seventh game only to immediately squander that edge.
But just as she had fought back from a break down in the second, Ferro would do so again and took the match when a powerful backhand down the line could not be put back into play by her opponent.
With no seeded player now left in the bottom half following the previous demise of Caroline Garcia and Tatjana Maria, Ferro will face the winner of Allie Kiick and Samantha Stosur.