Ana Bogdan is the second Romanian player, after Gabriela Ruse, to advance to the quarterfinals of the Transylvania Open, following an extraordinary match against the talented 17-year-old Nikola Bartunkova from the Czech Republic. Bogdan secured the victory after more than three hours of play: 4-6, 7-6, 7-5.
Ana Bogdan qualifies for the quarterfinals at Cluj for the first time in her career, continuing her successful run this year with a truly hard-fought victory. Ana put in a fantastic effort against a tenacious and extremely talented opponent who gave her all.
It was a typical match – in terms of development and outcome – between a sufficiently experienced and valuable player and another at the beginning of her journey, eager for recognition and success. Bartunkova, having little to lose, struck confidently without hesitation and displayed extraordinary clarity. She was aggressive, devised most of the attacks, and, most importantly, made few unforced errors. In this way, through her spirited and highly precise play, she put Ana in significant difficulty.
Ana’s merit lies in her ability to withstand these assaults, staying close to her opponent and demonstrating patience, waiting for the right moment to attack and take control. She fully utilized her experience, especially in the second set, when she often found herself pushed to the wall by the flawless shots of the young Bartunkova. A name we will hear more of.
At just 17 years old, Nikola – who received a wild card to enter the main draw of the Transylvania Open – seems like a player who will have a lot to say in the years to come. Her tennis is a very efficient combination of aggressive-creative play, which she adds a lot of courage to: she is not afraid to come to the net, serves and volleys, attacks right from the return, and is very stable from the baseline. At the same time, she is a remarkable junior, having reached a junior Grand Slam final at Wimbledon this year.
In these conditions, Ana – greatly supported by the Cluj audience – worked hard for this victory. She chased every ball, came back whenever needed, and had an exemplary attitude throughout the match.
In the end, the difference was made by a few points. Points that Ana refused to lose. The way Ana managed the tiebreak of the second set, especially her set point, as well as the decisive set, is a testament to Ana’s commitment, not only her experience but also her heart.
For a new WTA semifinal, Ana will have to overcome Rebeka Masarova, the tournament’s fourth favorite. They have met only once before in 2021 at the US Open, with the victory going to the Spanish player.