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3 - 11 feb. 2024 Cluj-Napoca

Rebeka Masarova wins a marathon match against Miriam Bulgaru, advancing to the quarterfinals at the Transylvania Open

Rebeka Masarova, the 4th seed of the tournament, advances to the quarterfinals of the Transylvania Open after an exhausting and highly entertaining match against Miriam Bulgaru. The final score was 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-0 in favor of Masarova, marking her fourth WTA quarterfinal appearance this season.

Facing an opponent who arguably played one of her best matches to date, Masarova withstood all the assaults from Miriam and drew upon her extensive experience to come out on top. Miriam dominated on numerous occasions, finding various solutions for a long time, and it was a close call for Bulgaru to win the match in straight sets.

The match’s unfolding was draining. After losing the first set, Masarova came back strongly, winning the next five games in a row in the second set. Then it was Miriam’s turn to respond, as she made a fantastic comeback, leveled the score, and served at 6-5 for the victory. However, Masarova played a flawless return game, equalized once again, and pushed the set into an even more dramatic tiebreak, which was won by the Spanish player on her 8th set point.

After such a tremendous effort and following an outstanding performance over two sets, Miriam could no longer sustain the physical demands and gradually gave way. As a result, the decisive set, with Miriam physically limited due to her earlier exertions, was a formality for Masarova.

While Masarova used all her experience to secure the victory, Miriam will need to draw inspiration from her performance today and make the most of this match in her future career. Today’s match showcased Miriam Bulgaru as a tenacious, spectacular player who can find solutions in crisis situations and maintain a high level of play for an extended duration.

Even though Miriam lost this match, it can be considered a significant, even enormous, step forward in her career. Her performance today, against an opponent ranked more than 130 places above her and with significantly more experience, should serve as further proof that she possesses the game, shots, and intensity to compete against a player like Masarova, who has been a part of the WTA circuit for a long time, reached a WTA final, and has the necessary experience at this level.

As for Masarova, she remains the only seeded player left in the competition and continues her journey at the Transylvania Open. In her next match, she will face the winner of the Ana Bogdan – Nikola Bartunkova encounter.

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