BUCHAREST, Romania - No.2 seed Viktoria Kuzmova moved safely through to the quarterfinals of the BRD Bucharest Open on Wednesday, easing past Australia's Jaimee Fourlis after a tight first set, 7-5, 6-2.
Kuzmova broke serve in the first game of each set against the Australian qualifier, but ultimately needed over 90 minutes to see off the challenge of Fourlis, ranked over 200 spots below her in the world.
The key game of a competitive first set was the penultimate one, as Fourlis faced eight break points among seven deuces, and though she saved seven, she could not defend the last.
"It was tough. She played really well. We had some rallies, and she played some balls very near to the baseline," Kuzmova assessed.
"She was really running really well, and it was very close. I started returning better in the second set, and I took the first game, which was really important."
Kuzmova powered through a statement hold of serve from there, and used the momentum as a springboard into the second set, where she broke serve twice.
The World No.54 claimed the last three games of the set, as she saved the lone break point against her in the second in the sixth game, to move into her first quarterfinal since a surprise run to the last eight of the Dubai Tennis Championships in February.
"I know it's amazing to be where I am, and I really appreciate it," Kuzmova said. "I'm trying not to think about it and we'll see what's going to happen next."