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Teichmann tumbles out of Transylvania Open, Tomljanovic and Kalinina advance

Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann was the first seed to tumble out of the Transylvania Open, while Ajla Tomljanovic, the No 5 seed, and 8th-seeded Anhelina Kalinina made it safely into round two at Cluj-Napoca in Romania on Monday.

The people here are proud of what she [Emma Raducanu] has done. They have adopted her, let’s say... I think what impressed me was her aggressiveness, she plays aggressive – but not very strong, or powerful, but rather very intelligent, very smart. And she’s moving very well, as well. What was the most, let’s say beautiful thing that I saw, is the mental part. To be so young and to be so calm, and like very powerful on the emotions, it was impressive. Simona Halep

Teichmann, seeded 4, was upset by Russian qualifier Anastasia Gasanova, who came from a set down and saved 2 match points before taking out the Swiss, 4-6 6-0 7-5, after a 2 hours 8 minute battle.

The 146th-ranked Russian held at 3-5 down in the final set, before winning 4 straight points on Teichmann’s serve when the Swiss player had 2 chances to close out the match.

Gasanova wrapped up proceedings on her first match point with another break at 6-5, winning 69% of her first-serve points to Teichmann’s 63% and, although the Russian only saved 2 of the 7 break points she faced, she also broke the Swiss 8 times, finishing with 98 points to 82.

In the second round, Gasanova will play another qualifier in Lesia Tsurenko, after the Ukrainian got past Romanian wild-card Andrea Prisacariu, 7-5 6-2, in an hour and 23 minutes.

Kalinina, Tsurenko’s compatriot, also advanced with a win over Dutch qualifier, Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove, 6-1 6-1, in just 62 minutes.

The No 8 seed won 76% of her first-serve points to Pattinama Kerkhove’s 19%, and saved 4 of the 5 break points she faced as she converted 6 of the 9 break points, on the Dutchwoman’s serve.

In the second round, Kalinina will play Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam, who outlasted Romanian qualifier Alexandra Ignatik, 5-7 6-4 6-4, in 2 hours and 51 minutes.


Ajla Tomljanovic needed 3 sets to get past Anastasia Potapova in her opening match in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

© Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Tomljanovic also took her place in the second round on Monday, taking 2 hours and 27 minutes to get past Russia’s Anastasia Potapova, 6-2 5-7 7-5.

The 5th-seeded Australian fought back from being a late break down to secure her hard-fought win after Potapova served for the match at 5-3 in the deciding set, only for Tomljanovic to win the final 4 games of the encounter.

The World No 43 stepped up her power game with the match on the line, breaking serve 3 times in the first and 3rd sets, with the lone break in the second coming in the 12th game when Potapova drew the match level.

The Aussie won 67% of her first-serve points to the Russian’s 61%, converted 6 of the 10 break points she carved out on Potapova’s serve, and saved 6 of the 10 break points she faced.

In the second round, the 5th seed will play either Romanian wild-card Jaqueline Cristian or Kaja Juvan from Slovenia for a place in the quarter-finals.

The only Romanian to reach the second round on Monday was Ana Bogdan, who defeated Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic, 7-6(1) 6-4, in an hour and 41 minutes in their opening-round clash.

For a place in the quarter-finals, Bogdan will play either 3rd-seeded Emma Raducanu from Great Britain or Slovenia’s Polona Hercog, who play on Tuesday.

Germany’s Mona Barthel also reached the round-of-16, defeating Hungarian qualifier Anna Bondar, 6-3 7-5, in an hour and 31 minutes, and she will play either American Bernarda Pera or 6th seed Marta Kostyuk from the Ukrainian for a place in the quarter-finals.


Simona Halep is the top seed at the Transylvania Open

© Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

Romania’s former World No 1 Simona Halep is the top-seeded player at the indoor hard-court event, with Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit seeded 2nd and Raducanu the 3 seed.

Halep told the media that Romania has ‘accepted and adopted’ Raducanu, whose father was born in Bucharest.

“The people here are proud of what she has done,” Halep said. “They have adopted her, let’s say.

“I heard many people talking about this – what she’s done is amazing, it’s huge to win at 18. Romania, we have had big champions in tennis – we had Virginia Ruzici, Ilie Năstase, a history in the sport.

“Then a gap and then I came with the big results. [There is] a big community of sports fans, who follow everything and go everywhere they can with the Romanian flags – it’s a big boost for everybody in Romania when somebody wins a big tournament.”

Raducanu won 10 matches over 3 weeks at the US Open and she did not drop a single set in the process.

“I think what impressed me was her aggressiveness, she plays aggressive – but not very strong, or powerful, but rather very intelligent, very smart,” Halep added. “And she’s moving very well, as well.

“What was the most, let’s say beautiful thing that I saw, is the mental part. To be so young and to be so calm, and like very powerful on the emotions, it was impressive.”

The 18-year old Brit is looking for her first win since her marathon run to the US Open title in September, and after an early first-round exit at Indian Wells.


Emma Raducanu is looking to win her first match in Romania since lifting the US Open trophy in September

© Al Bello/Getty Images

Raducanu appears in her father’s country for the first time against Hercog, and it will be a new experience as she plays indoors for the first time in her fledgling career at this level.

Raducanu’s run in New York gives her the edge, though, with Hercog having only won one main draw match since the 3rd round of the French Open, and the Slovenian dropped down to an ITF event after she too went out of Indian Wells in her opener.

This is a real test for Raducanu, however, who is now ranked 23 in the world.

She has the firepower to overcome Hercog, but she will be up against a tour veteran who may just be a little match-sharper at the moment, after Raducanu withdrew from the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last week.

“I am going to find my tennis, I just need a little bit of time,” Raducanu told the media in Romania. “I don’t think there is any pressure on me.

“I feel like everyone should just be a little patient with me. I feel like I am the same person. I still go out there, approaching the same as before.

“I am really enjoying my tennis right now. I feel it will be in a great place. In the long term, I know it will be up and down, the past few weeks I have learned a lot about myself.”

Raducanu’s grandmother lives in Bucharest and the teenager got a warm welcome in Cluj-Napoca, where she spoke in Romanian to the crowd after a practice session at the weekend.

“I am really excited for the next chapter,” she added. “This end of the season and the next year I can play on the tour, like a full year, and that is the most exciting thing.

“Patience is key. Because, as I said, there are a lot of lows, where you learn about your game. You adjust to each level gradually.

“I kind of went from zero to the top of the game. So, it’s obviously going to take some time to adjust and adapt but hopefully with some good work I will be able to do that.”

Raducanu’s opening match is scheduled after 4pm UK time on Tuesday on Amazon Prime where all the action can be watched live or on replay.



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