BUCHAREST, Romania - No.7 seed Pauline Parmentier came back from a set down to see off home favorite Alexandra Dulgheru in the first round of the BRD Bucharest Open.
Last year, Parmentier reached the quarterfinals here in Bucharest, one of three post-Wimbledon clay events that bookend the grass season. She continued the good clay form that saw her lift the title in Istanbul earlier in the season, notching a hard-fought 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory to start her 2018 Bucharest campaign.
“I’m so happy with the results and how I played,” Parmentier said. “Not really at the beginning - I was not really into the match. It was hot and I didn’t have very good energy at the beginning. She was playing good.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match, but after I really fought, I played really good at the second set. I was down in the third set and I just fought and run until the end. And I am really happy to win this match.”
Parmentier came into the match enjoying a 2-0 lead in the pair’s head-to-head record, with both wins coming in straight sets but neither match contested on clay.
The first two sets were both one-sided affairs as Dulgheru started off with the momentum - breaking Parmentier twice to grab the first set - before Parmentier roared her way back, reeling off six games in a row to level the match.
The deciding set was a hard-fought battle as Parmentier had to recover from an early break to turn around a 0-2 deficit. She finally broke back at 4-4, and then needed four match points in a marathon final game to break again, sealing the match after two hours and six minutes on court.
“The crowd were really okay with me and it’s normal that they cheer for the Romanian players,” Parmentier said of the strong home support for Dulgheru. “I was expecting more because I played Begu here last year and it was much more. I was ready for that, but it was pretty calm and pretty cool.
“I know she played good last few weeks, she is back from injury and I knew it was going to be a tough match, but I was prepared for that.
“I was just focused on me on my game, because I was not playing really really good, so I was just focused on moving my legs, play hard and try to play on the forehand because she had a really good backhand so I was focusing on that.”
Up next, Parmentier will take on Wang Yafan, who also knocked out a Romanian in her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Miriam Bulgaru earlier in the day.