The Transylvania Open by Verdino, the WTA 250 event at Cluj-Napoca in Romania, lost two major names before a ball was struck this week, following the withdrawal of Emma Raducanu and Barbora Krejcikova, both due to wrist injuries.
When play got underway on Monday, only one seed, Anna Bondar from Hungary, made it to the 2nd-round with a 6-4 6-2 win over qualifier Elina Avanesyan.
The 8th seed needed an hour and 14 minutes to dispatch the Russian and next will play either Oceane Dodin from France or British No 2 Harriet Dart, who play on Tuesday.
Italy’s Jasmine Paolini upset 6th seed Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine in her opening round, dropping the first set before coming back to clinch a 5-7 6-3 6-4 win after an hour and 56 minutes of play.
The Ukrainian won 75% of her first-serve points to Paolini’s 56%, but struggled to win points off her second serve and, while the Italian took 59% of her second-serve points, Kostyuk could win only 22%.
Paolini went on to break Kostyuk a total of 7 times while losing her serve 5 times.
In the 2nd-round, Paolini will play Kostyuk’s compatriot, Dayana Yastremska, who defeated German lucky loser, Tamara Korpatsch, 6-3 4-6 7-5, after the 2 hours and 17 minutes contest.
Meanwhile, Korpatsch’s fellow German, Jule Niemeier caused an upset of her own, against 3rd-seeded Ana Bogdan from Romania.
Niemeier took the 7-6(5) 6-2 match in an hour and 56 minutes, winning 75% of her first-serve points to the Romanian’s 59%, and while both struggled with their second serves, the German won 38% of her second-serve points to Bogdan’s 37%.
The 23-year old saved 3 of the 6 break points she faced while converting 5 of the 7 break-point chances that came her way on Bogdan’s serve.
Niemeier’s next opponent will be a qualifier in either Olga Danilovic from Serbia or Russian Kamilla Rakhimova.
Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure and Anna Blinkova from Russia also won their respective opening-round matches at the Transylvania Open.
Bonaventure, who qualified for the main draw, defeated another Russian, Varvara Gracheva, 7-5 7-5, while her fellow qualifier Blinkova came through a derby against another qualifier, Anastasia Zakharova, 6-1 7-6(7).
Bonaventure will play either Canada’s wild-carded Eugenie Bouchard or No 2 seed, Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine, while Blinkova awaits either 5th seed Magda Linette from Poland or China’s Xinyu Wang.