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3 - 11 feb. 2024 Cluj-Napoca

Rebeka Masarova wins a new marathon match, defeating Ana Bogdan and advances to the semifinals in Cluj

Rebeka Masarova, the tournament’s fourth seed, lived up to her seeding and qualified for the semifinals of the Transylvania Open after yet another grueling match. Masarova defeated Ana Bogdan in three sets, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3, after more than two hours of play.

Similar to her previous match against Miriam Bulgaru, Masarova clawed her way back into the game, found the energy to stay close to her opponent, and when a small opportunity arose, she launched an attack that couldn’t be turned around.

As expected, the match was closely contested, with intense play on nearly every point. Masarova was the player who started the match more inspired, becoming the first to secure a break and take a 3-1 lead. After this point, Ana gradually found her rhythm and truly felt her shots: she played confidently, paid close attention to her returns (critical, considering her opponent’s primary weapon is her serve), and frequently took the initiative in points to dictate the pace to Masarova.

In this way, from a 1-3 deficit, Ana won the next five games in a row, with a very solid game: strong in defense, sharp in attack, and highly focused in key moments.

With the first set won, Ana continued her solid performance, but Masarova didn’t give up quickly. Rebeka had significant chances to pull ahead in the second set, often making a difference with her forehand and returns, but Ana managed to halt her momentum once again.

Masarova led in the second set at 4-3 with the service, but this advantage was quickly lost. Ana did a fantastic job with her returns, consistently hitting them deep and towards the center of the court, often taking control of the point thanks to her returns.

Once equality was restored, they went neck and neck for a while, leading the second set to a tiebreak. The tiebreak was mainly controlled by Masarova because her serve was untouchable: she served powerfully, and accurately, and Bogdan found it increasingly difficult to find solutions, as she had earlier in the match.

Entering the decider, Ana got off to a slow start, which allowed her opponent to start with a break. The break by Masarova at the beginning of the third set proved to be decisive for the outcome of the match. Thanks to her serve, Masarova confirmed the break until the end. In fact, Masarova began her service game at 5-4 with two consecutive aces.

For Rebeka Masarova, her next opponent will be a third Romanian in a row, Gabriela Ruse, whom she has never faced before.

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