Tennis - Simona Halep may be the top attraction at the Bucharest Open this week but there are plenty of other Romanian women in the draw as well. Monica Niculescu, she of the funky forehand slice fame, delighted home fans on Monday with an upset win over third seed Klara Koukalova.
Niculescu won comfortably 6-3, 6-0 over her good friend and sometimes doubles partner to move into the second round. Speaking after her win, Niculescu commented, "It was my first time playing at home other than a Fed Cup doubles match where my opponents retired after one game.
I didn't know what to expect, but there were lots of supporters and the crowd was very loud, which was great. Hopefully, I will continue to advance and even more supporters will see me." In other matches on Monday, German youngster Annika Beck was beaten by Lara Arruabarrena 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(5); Kristina Kucova upset sixth seed Anna Schmiedlova 6-3, 6-3; while eighth-seeded Polona Hercog beat American Anna Tatishvli 6-4, 6-3 while Kiki Bertens, Sesil Karatantcheva, Anett Kontaveit and Elitsa Kostova moved into the main draw coming through qualifying. Dutch girl Indy De Vroome came into the main draw as a lucky loser and meets world no. 3 Halep in the first round.
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