Romanian tennis player Monica Niculescu, the current WTA no 92, has defeated former world number one Maria Sharapova in the first round of the Qatar Total Open.
Niculescu beat Sharapova, currently ranked 41st in the world, 4-6 6-4 6-3 in two hours and 38 minutes.
“It was the 2012 Qatar Total Open quarterfinalist’s [e.n. Niculescu’s] consistency that won the day, hitting 12 winners to just 17 unforced errors and converting six of seven break point opportunities,” wtatennis.com wrote on the match.
The BBC called Niculescu’s win “impressive,” while journalist Ben Rothenberg, a contributor to the New York Times, tweeted about the Romanian’s “bag of tricks” that “contained plenty to take out Maria Sharapova.”
The win against Sharapova means that Niculescu advances to the second round, where she will play against the winner of the match between Fatma Al Nabhani and Magdalena Rybarikova, the world no. 18. The access to the second round of the Qatar Open comes with 60 WTA points and USD 17,325.
Mihaela Buzărnescu, another Romanian tennis player, has made it to the second round of the Qatar Open. She is set to play Jelena Ostapenko next.
Three other Romanians are playing in the Doha tournament: Simona Halep, the world no. 2, Irina-Camelia Begu, the current WTA no. 37, and Sorana Cîrstea, the WTA no. 36.
(Photo: Monica Niculescu Facebook Page)