The sixth edition of the BRD Bucharest Open is underway. Taking to the court on Tuesday is Anastasija Sevastova, hoping to defend her title. Several withdrawals have opened up the draw. Tamara Zidansek is out with a viral injury and Bethanie Mattek-Sands withdrew with lingering knee pain. The number two seed Viktoria Kuzmova is into the second round with a commanding 6-2, 6-2 win over Dalila Jakupovic. Laura Siegemund and Aliona Bolsova, the number six and seven seeds respectively also cleared their first round hurdles. The opening round continues Tuesday. Here’s a look at four opening round matches and predictions for who will move on to the second round.
Anastasija Sevastova vs Ana Bogdan
Head to head: Sevastova 0-1 Bogdan (2017 Bucharest Open)
Surely Anasatasija Sevastova will welcome the return to clay. The Latvian’s Wimbledon campaign was cut short by American Danielle Collins, in large part due to her faltering serve which was broken eight times. Clay seems to bring out the best in Sevastova as evidenced by her bid to defend her 2018 Bucharest Open title.
Ana Bogdan will have the crowd support behind her, playing on her home Country’s soil. That’s certainly a good thing as 2019 hasn’t been the Romanian’s year. A capable clay courter, Bogdan was the runner-up in Saint-Gaudens, France at May’s ITF clay court event. Furthermore, Bogdan bounced Sevastova at this very tournament in 2017. Some very positive take-aways for the 26-year-old Romanian. This should be a very competitive match, but I think it swings the Latvian’s favor in the end.
Prediction: Anastasija Sevastova in three
Arantxa Rus vs Veronika Kudermetova
Head to head:
Arantxa Rus comes into the Bucharest Open with a 1-3 record on clay. The Netherlands woman squared off against Johanna Larsson in Bastad, where she was dismantled 1-6, 0-6. A dismal result for the 28-year-old. Rus makes a decent showing on the Challenger level, but will lack the weapons and skill to compete on this level.
On the other side of the net is Veronika Kudermetova, the number three seed. An accomplished doubles player, Kudermetova won’t be afraid to end points on her terms. Expect the Russian to move in on any short balls, in what should be an easy opener for Kudermetova.
Prediction: Kudermetova in two
Alexandra Cadantu vs Kristyna Pliskova
Head to head: Cadantu 0-1 Pliskova
Alexandra Cadantu has achieved relative success in a number of ITF events. The Romanian obviously has talent, but hasn’t yet broke through at the tour level. Cadantu came through in her only meeting against Kristyna Pliskova, and she’ll have the Romanian crowd’s support. That alone should help Cadantu elevate her game. Pliskova has chalked up a lot of first or second round main draw exits. Not since Lugano (May 2019) has the Czech had a deep run. I give the edge to Cadantu based on history and the boisterous support of the Romanian crowd.
Prediction: Cadantu in three
Sorana Cirstea vs Jaqueline Cristian
Head to head: First meeting
The All-Romanian match-up between Sorana Cirstea and Jacqueline Cristian. On one side, you have the experienced Cirstea, the tournament’s number five seed. Cristian is ranked outside the Top 200 and her matches have been confined mostly to the Challenger level. The 21-year-old brought in a win in Grado in May. Certainly a confidence booster, but not near enough to oust the tournament tough Cirstea.
Prediction: Cirstea in two