Cluj-Napoca | Romanian quarter-finalists set

The quarter-final spots were determined at the Transylvania Open by Verdino on Thursday, led by No 2 seed Anhelina Kalinina, one of only four seeds left standing in the Romania WTA 250 tournament.

Kalinina, who hails from Ukraine, has dismantled powerful players this week, handling the aggression of Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, until she retired with a right hip injury, and Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure very well, posting a 6-3 6-2 win against the latter.

In the quarter-finals, Kalinina will face Anna Blinkova, a Russian qualifier, who needed 3 sets to outlast China’s Wang Xinyu, 6-4 2-6 6-1.

Blinkova, a former World No 54, has reached her first tour-level quarter-final since Luxembourg 2019.

Meanwhile, Anna Bondar, the 8th seed from Hungary, who defeated British No 2 Harriet Dart, 7-6(3) 6-4, on Wednesday at Cluj-Napoca, takes on 4th-seeded Anastasia Potapova in the Last 8, after the Russian saw off Viktorija Glubic from Switzerland, 6-2 6-3.

When the two met in January, Bondar served for the match, but dropped the next 3 games to see Potapova come away with the win, but the Russian’s progress has been very dynamic since then, testified by reaching her 6th quarter-final of the season.

Elsewhere, in the the top half of the draw, China’s Wang Xiyu battled past wild-card Elena-Gabriela Ruse, the last remaining home player, in 3 hours and 26 minutes to reach her 4th quarter-final of 2022.

Wang’s hard-fought 6-1 6-7(8) 7-6(6) win over Ruse could well have depleted the 21-year old Chinese’s reserves ahead of her next challenge, Nuria Parrizas Diaz from Spain, who has an aggressive game that benefits from these indoor courts.

Parrizas Diaz came through her 2nd-round match against Dalma Galfi from Hungary with relative ease, 6-1 6-4, after an hour and 10 minutes to reach her 6th tour-level quarter-final of the year.

In the last section, Wimbledon quarter-finalist Jule Niemeier from Germany, who dispatched Russian qualifier Kamilla Rakhimova, 6-4 6-4, on Wednesday, takes on Italian Jasmine Paolini, who took out Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska, 6-4 6-1, also on Wednesday.

It has been a breakthrough year for Niemeier, even if the 24-year old’s ranking at 74 does not reflect this because of the lack of points at Wimbledon.

With a huge serve, the German has looked extremely threatening in this event so far, using her power with plenty of efficiency and, although Paolini took her out in Parma just a couple of weeks ago, this match-up now favours Niemeier, playing indoors.

Former World No 54 Anna Blinkova defeated Wang Xinyu in 3 sets at the Transylvania Open by Verdino to reach her first tour-level quarter-final since Luxembourg 2019.



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