No.7 seed Pauline Parmentier came back from a set down to see off home favorite Alexandra Dulgheru in Bucharest. Last year's quarterfinalist opened her campaign with a 2-6 6-1 6-4 victory. The Frenchwoman won six games in a row to seal the second set and had to recover from an early break down in the decider.
In a hard-fought battle, she needed four match points to clinch the success. Parmentier will face Wang Yafan, who knocked out 6-1, 6-3 local wildcard Miriam Bulgaru. Her invitation came under scrutiny as Dulgheru confessed to local paper Gazeta that organizers had promised her a wild card entry.
"In the end, when I left Wimbledon and I came to Bucharest, I knew I had a wild card, but it had to be confirmed, then on Monday or Tuesday when I was already in Budapest, Dobre told me that things had changed, Dumitru Hărădău [the tournament president] intervened and gave the wild card to changed wild cards.
The one he was to receive was given to Miriam Bulgaru". The decision, Haradau said, was taken to give priority to young players. Parmentier, who claimed her fifth win here, and Wang, who owns a 4-8 record against Top 100 opponents this season, are tied 1-1 in the head to head series.
Wang won in Taipei City, Parmentier sealed the win in Strasbourg, in the only previous clash on clay, both in 2018. Arantxa Rus launched her campaign with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Mariana Duque-Mariño. The two played each other for the fifth time, the first in five years, when Duque-Marino beat the Dutchwoman in straight sets on clay in Osprey 6-1 6-0.
The Dutch, ranked No.111, gained a 4-0 lead to open superbly the first set. In the second, the Colombian offered a bit more resistance but Rus managed to clinch the success at the third opportunity. In the fifth edition of the BRD Bucharest Open, she will meet Dalila Jakupovic or the top seed and 2016 runner-up Anastasija Sevastova, who lost to Simona Halep in the final two years ago.
20-year-old Tamara Zidansek continued her vein of excellent form. After winning over 40 matches so far this year and rising nearly 100 places in the rankings, she claimed six breaks in six looks to beat Rebecca Peterson 7-5 6-0.
Zidansek who won 74% of second serve points throughout the match and now awaits Danka Kovinic or Mihaela Buzarnescu, the No.2 seed bidding to extend her 2-0 record against the Montenegrin who built her 11-12 record on clay this season mainly on the ITF tour.
Maryna Zanevska extended to 5-2 her win-loss record in tiebreak sets this season as she defeated fellow Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure 7-6(5) 6-1, completing the eight win in her last ten clashes against lefty opponents. She will face the No.5 seed Sorana Cirstea, back on court for the first time after 48 days, or Turkish qualifier Cagla Buyukakcay, who won 8 of her last 10 matches on clay and beat the Romanian No.2 in their only meeting in 2016 en route to her historical maiden WTA title at home in Istanbul.