Britain’s No 2 Harriet Dart was narrowly beaten by 8th-seeded Anna Bondar in the 2nd-round of the Transylvania Open by Verdino on Wednesday, while China’s Wang Xinyu upset Magda Linette, the No 5 seed, Jule Nemeier saw off qualifier Kamilla Rakhimova and Jasmine Paolini defeated Daria Yastremska, all in straight sets.
Dart got off to a quick start against Bondar, a 25-year old Hungarian ranked 62, but could not sustain her level sufficiently and lost, 7-6(3) 6-4, after an hour and 52 minute contest.
Bondar had to come from 5-3 down in the first set to reach her 6th tour-level quarter-final of the season.
In the opening game, Bondar skewed a backhand wide to hand Dart 2 break points, and the Brit came up with a stunning forehand that her opponent could only return into the net.
The Hungarian, though, recovered from that early setback with a couple of efficient holds, but could not make the the critical break back as Dart continued to produce an array of neat shots to maintain her advantage.
A stellar backhand from Bondar handed her 2 break points in game 8, but Dart aggressively saved one by orcing the Hungarian into a long forehand, and then brought it back to deuce when Bondar’s next forehand found the net.
With Dart serving for the set after Bondar had held to love, the Brit found herself 2 break points down again, and despite managing to save the first one, she sent a backhand just wide of the tramlines as the 8th seed levelled the match at 5-5.
A tiebreak settled the first set, in which Dart got off to a bad start by double-faulting to hand Bondar an early 3-0 lead, and she jumped ahead 4-0 before losing the next 3 points, and then winning the last 3.
As she had done all match, the Hungarian showed her class with the cross-court forehand to bring up 3 set points, and an emphatic return from Dart’s second serve handed Bondar the set, ending a run of 7 breaker losses in a row as well.
The Bondar forehand also saw her save 2 break points in the second game, much to Dart’s frustration after the 26-year-old thought she heard a call from a line judge.
The incident appeared to affect her momentum and Bondar found herself with 3 break points in the 3rd game of the second.
She converted on the final one and maintained her advantage until she served for the match at 5-4, when she experienced a wobble, having to fended off 4 break points before finally bringing up her first match point.
Dart sent one final shot into the net as Bondar sealed her place in the Last 8, where she will face either Viktorija Golubic or Anastasia Potapova.
Italy’s Paolini defeated Yastremska from Ukraine, 6-4 6-1, while Germany’s Niemeier topped Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova, 6-4 6-4, in 2nd-round action to reach her 3rd quarter-final of 2022.
In the final two 1st-round matches, China’s Wang upset 5th-seeded Linette of Poland, 6-2 6-4, and Hungary’s Dalma Galfi rallied past 9th-seeded Lucia Bronzetti of Italy, 4-6 6-2 6-4.
It was Wang’s best victory of 2022 by ranking so far, while Galfi had to come from a set down to upset Bronzetti in her third win over the Italian in 5 meetings, and her second this year.