All five Romanian women in the Indian Wells tennis tournament in California are through to the second round, after the first round matches played over the last two days. But the only Romanian player in the men’s competition, Victor Hanescu, was knocked out by South African Kevin Anderson 7 – 6, 6 – 3.
It was four for four in the women’s first round matches at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, with all the Romanians winning and progressing to the next round. Romania’s number one player Sorana Cirstea (ranked 27 ) got a bye in the first and thus goes directly through to the second round, where she faces Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain.
Irina-Camila Begu (in picture) broke British hearts when she beat UK number one Heather Watson. Despite being outranked by the British player, Begu overcame Watson 6 – 2, 6 – 4. Heather Watson was generous in her praise of her opponent. “I didn’t really play well but my opponent is a great player and I feel like these courts really suit her game, and she played very smart,” the British number one told the BBC after her match. Irina-Camelia Begu faces the number 4 seed Angelique Kerber from Germany in round 2.
Monica Niculescu demolished her opponent, the 18-year old Ukrainian qualifier Elina Svitolina, winning 6 – 0, 6 – 0. She will go on to play the Belgian Kirsten Flipkens. Simona Halep was also untroubled by her opponent, Lauren Davis of the US. Halep won in straight sets, 6 – 2, 6 – 0. However, the next round will be tougher when she faces number 12 seed, the Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova. Finally, Alexandra Dulgheru won her first round game against Michelle Larcher de Brito from Portugal, 6 – 4, 6 – 4. Dulgheru will face number 32 seed, China’s Shuai Peng in the next round of the Indian Wells competition.
The women’s second round matches will be played today and tomorrow (March 8 and 9 ). Games get underway at 11:00 local time (21:00 in Romania).
Although not one of the Grand Slams, the Indian Wells competition is one of the bigger events on the pro circuit. Unlike many other tournaments it includes a men’s ATP competition and a women’s WTA ranking event. The current venue, The Indian Wells Garden, was built in 2000 at a cost of USD 78 million. It is one of the biggest and, claim the organizers, one of the most impressive venues for tennis in the world. The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells runs between March 4 and 17 this year, featuring men’s and women’s singles and doubles competitions.
Liam Lever, email@example.com