Cluj-Napoca | WTA 250 Transylvania Open kicks off in Romania

Day 1 of this week’s Transylvania Open, the WTA 250 tournament at Cluj-Napoca in Romania, saw top seed Arantxa Rus, Anna Blinkova, the 3rd seed, and 8th-seeded Ana Bogdan safely into the 2nd-round, but Camila Osorio upset the No 7 seed, Viktorija Tomova, and Clara Tauson put paid to Nadia Podoroska’s hopes, the 9th seed, in Monday’s play.

There are moments that you cannot experience many times a year because you don’t have the same support at other tournaments. It’s another kind of feeling when you play at home, and I think this matters. It matters for your soul. You are left with some very beautiful things and you remember them. So I can say that I am happy and calm. Ana Bogdan

Rus open the tournament against Greet Minnen from Belgium, and, after a tight first set, the Dutchwoman advanced with relative ease, 7-5 6-1, where she awaits in round 2 for the winner of the match between another Belgian Yanina Wickmayer and the veteran Frenchwoman, Alizé Cornet, who had to qualify.

Blinkova’s passage was somewhat easier, the 2022 champion returning to Cluj with a decisive 6-3 6-0 win over Swiss qualifier Simona Waltert.

The Russian made headlines earlier this year when she upset Elena Rybakina at the Australian Open, and remains undefeated in Cluj, having won 8 matches in a row.

Her next opponent is Nuria Parrizas-Diaz after the Spaniard came through her opening match against Laura Siegemund from Germany in straight sets.

Parrizas-Diaz, who had not won a main draw match at a WTA or Grand Slam tournament since October 2023, cruised past the German in straight sets, 6-4 6-4.


Home favourite, Ana Bogdan, the No 8 seed, got past Alycia Parks in 2 tight sets on Monday

transylvaniaopen.ro/Instagram

Meanwhile, Bogdan, the home favourite, had to come from 1-3 down to win 10 of the next 12 games and lead 4-0 in the second set against American Alycia Parks, but had to come through a tight home stretch to advance to the 2nd-round, 7-5 7-5.

It is the Romania’s second win over Parks, having also beaten her last year at Wimbledon in 3 sets.

Bogdan had to contend with an aggressive and powerful opponent in an evenly-balanced contest, and the first break came only at 6-5 when Parks served to stay in the set, and Bogdan took the game to love to bag the set.

Hitting more more freely now, and with more accuracy, Bogdan put her foot on the gas, but Parks did not give up easily, and the American came back from 0-4 and 3-5 down in the second to finally level at 5-5, at which point the Romanian regrouped to break, and held her own serve to score the win.

Earlier, Bogdan had said: “I have no expectations in regards to the results. But I am so happy that I came. I could have chosen Abu Dhabi, to play there, Doha, Dubai, they were all there. But I chose to come here because I love this tournament, the people who organise it, the fans, along with all the support I get from the public.

“There are moments that you cannot experience many times a year because you don’t have the same support at other tournaments. It’s another kind of feeling when you play at home, and I think this matters.

“It matters for your soul. You are left with some very beautiful things and you remember them. So I can say that I am happy and calm.”

For a place in the quarter-finals, Bodgan will have to overcome the winner from the match between local wild-card Anca Todoni and Russian teenager, Erika Andreeva, a qualifier, but she will certainly have the backing of the crowd.


Camila Osorio (L) and Clara Tauson, two talented up-and-coming players, caused upsets on Monday

transylvaniaopen.ro/Instagram

Elsewhere, Osorio upset Tomova from Bulgaria, 6-2 6-4, to reach the 2nd-round where the Colombian, ranked 101, will play the winner of the match between former World No 1 Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic and Austrian qualifier Sinja Kraus.

Denmark’s Clara Tauson continued her current good run with an impressive 6-3 6-1 win over the Argentine, Podoroska.

Last week, Tauson was the only player to take a set off Jelena Ostapenko, the eventual Linz champion, and she even held match points against the Latvian before being defeated in a decisive set tiebreak.

British interest lies with Harriet Dart who has come through 2 rounds of qualifying to make it into the main draw where she will take on lucky loser Anna Bondar from Russia on Tuesday.


The BTarena at Cluj-Napoca, Romania

transylvaniaopen.ro/Instagram


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