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3 - 11 feb. 2024 Cluj-Napoca

TO, recap day 2 | Jaqueline Cristian advances to second round, Anastasija Sevastova earns her first WTA win in two years

For the second year in a row, Jaqueline Cristian qualifies in the second round at the Transylvania Open WTA 250. Cristian defeated Marina Bassalos Ribera, a player ranked 105th in the world, who reached the main draw as a lucky loser (after the last-minute withdrawal of Miriam Bulgaru) in two sets, 6-3, 6-2.

For Jaqueline Cristian, the victory she achieved in Cluj is the second she has managed to achieve at the beginning of this year, after an unfortunate series of four consecutive defeats.

Initially, Jaqueline was scheduled to play against Miriam Bulgaru, a match that would have been a highly anticipated 100% Romanian duel. Unfortunately, due to some medical problems, Bulgaru had to withdraw last minute from the tournament, and her place was taken by Marina Bassalos Ribera.

Marina Bassalos Ribera is a 24-year-old player with an interesting ascension in the WTA circuit: within a year, she climbed more than 100 places in the WTA ranking, and in 2023 she reached three WTA125K tournament finals, winning two of them.

Theoretically, Bassalos Ribera was expected to be a difficult opponent for Cristian. But Jaqueline managed to make her life easy: she served well, always found a balance between offense and attack, and her errors were few. The serve, which she never lost throughout the match, was also at a high level: more than 80% of the points won on the first serve. Overall, it was a match where almost everything she tried worked out.

For a new qualification in the quarterfinals at the Transylvania Open, Jaqueline will play with Clara Tauson, whom she also met last week in Linz, where Tauson prevailed: 6-2, 6-0.

Anastasija Sevastova returns with success in a WTA tournament

After a two-year break, Anastasija Sevastova wins her first match in a WTA tournament, against Andreea Mitu: 6-2, 6-3. It is the first victory for the player from Latvia since January 2022. She is the winner of four WTA tournaments, Grand Slam semi-finalist and no. 11 worldwide in 2018.

In January 2022, Sevastova announced that she would take an indefinite break from tennis, due to injuries that no longer allowed her to perform as she wanted. During this break, she became a mother, and at the end of 2023, she announced that she is ready to return to tennis.

It is important to mention that Sevastova announced her retirement from tennis in 2013, only to return – with great success – two years later: from 2015 to 2022, Anastasija reached the most important milestones, reaching close to the top 10 players worldwide, winning another three WTA titles and qualifying for the US Open semi-finals, this being the most relevant result of her career.

Therefore, for the second time, Sevastova is ready for a comeback – and this comeback started just right, as she reached the last 16 in Cluj. In the next match, the Latvian player will meet Elina Avanesyan, the 6th favorite of the tournament.

Tamara Korpatsch, the former champion from Cluj’s tournament, was eliminated

Last year’s Transylvania Open champion, Tamara Korpatsch, lost early this year, defeated in the first round by Elina Avanesyan, after an intense match that lasted for over two hours of play: 6-4, 7-6.

Avanesyan thereby confirms the good period that she is going through, arriving in Cluj after she managed to reach the third round at the Australian Open, passing, among others, Maria Sakkari.

In the next round, Avanesyan will meet Anastasija Sevastova, whom she has never met before.