The biggest upset so far at the BRD Bucharest Open came on Tuesday, when Jaqueline Cristian bounced the #5 seed and compatriot Sorana Cirstea. The 21-year-old wild card defeated Cirstea with power and precise placement off her backhand wing. Perhaps we’re looking at the start of something big for the young Romanian. After a serious scare, #1 seed Anastasija Sevastova found a way to fend off the threat of Romanian Ana Bogdan. Slovenian Kaja Juvan is through to the Round of 16. You may remember, this is the 18-year-old who captured our attention at Wimbledon when she took the opening set from Serena Williams. After dropping the first set in the Romanian capital, Juvan commanded the next two sets, 6-1 6-1, winning her opener.
Day 3 at the Bucharest Open begins Wednesday, with the field now culled by half. Here are predictions for who will move on to the quarterfinals.
BRD Bucharest Open Day 3 Predictions
Lara Arruabarrena vs Laura Siegemund
Head to head: Arruabarrena 0-1 Siegemund
Lara Siegemund has some work to do on her faltering serve if she hopes to continue on in Bucharest. Eight double faults during the German’s opener just gives away too many free points. The service is something the #6 seed will need to improve. Anhelina Kalinina wasn’t able to capitalize on the questionable Siegemund serve. Yet a more seasoned player certainly will.
Lara Arruabarrena’s opener was not exactly straightforward. The veteran Spaniard was pushed to a decider by China’s Xu Shilin. Three very tight sets required Arruabarren to work for her win. Yet, the 27-year-old dug in, created break point opportunities and took the decider 7-5. It was a battle which should give Arruabarrena a level of confidence against Germany’s Siegemund. Look for an upset here–Arruabarrena moves on.
Prediction: Arruabarrena in 3
Ysaline Bonaventure vs Kristyna Pliskova
Head to head: Bonaventure 0-1 Pliskova
Yasline Bonaventure won her opening match against Tereza Mrdeza 6-3, 7-5. The Belgian struggled with her service, winning only 44% of her second serve points. The win was derived by a sharp return of serve. Bonaventure claimed seven out of eight break point chances. Pliskova will need to be sharp against this talented returner.
Kristyna Pliskova served 13 aces in her opener against Alexandra Cadantu. The Czech maintained a 73% first serve and won 85% of her first service points. Pliskova was able to save all three of her break points, and took advantage of three out of four break opportunities. It was a solid performance from the sometimes erratic Pliskova. If the lefty Czech can maintain this level, the title should be well within her sights.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2
Jaimee Fourlis vs Viktoria Kuzmova
Head to head: No history
Viktoria Kuzmova turned in a strong performance in her opener against Dalila Jakupovic. With four aces, winning 76% of first service points and breaking on five of eight opportunities, the Slovakian has arrived in Romania ready to play. Kuzmova is another example of the young, up and coming players who are making their presence known. I expect Kuzmova can make a serious bid for the Bucharest Open title.
Jaimee Fourlis, the 19-year-old Australian, will look to upset the #2 seed in their Round of 16 clash. The Aussie made her way into the main draw through qualifiers, then knocked off Romanian wild card Irina Bara to earn this second round berth. Now with a 24-13 record on clay this year (including Challengers and Qualifying Rounds), Fourlis has demonstrated her clay court capabilities. Therefore, the teen’s skill is apparent. However, it may come up short against the experience of the Kuzmova game.
Prediction: Kuzmova in 2
Kaja Juvan vs Irina-Camelia Begu
Head to head: No history
With a winning record (6-3) on clay, it’s hard not to see Kaja Juvan come good. The World #111 will square off against World #112, Irina-Camelia Begu. Two very evenly matched players, at very different stages of their careers. Certainly it would help the Slovenian’s chances if she can get more first serves in play. Juvan’s second serve is vulnerable to strong returners. But, I don’t see Begu able to take advantage of that vulnerability. Juvan should have enough defensive skill to keep the Romanian at bay.
Prediction: Juvan in 2
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