Romanian tennis player Sorana Cirstea qualified on Tuesday for the second round of the WTA tournament in Qatar (the Qatar Total Open), with prizes worth 3.1 million US dollars, after defeating Greek Maria Sakkari, with a score of 6-2, 6-3. Sorana Cirstea (aged 27, WTA's 38th) defeated her 22-year old opponent (WTA's 60th) after one hour and 13 minutes.
Cirstea secured a cheque worth 17,325 US dollars and 60 WTA points, and, in the next round, she is to face off the winner of the event between Belgian Elise Mertens (WTA's 20th) and Hungary's Timea Babos (WTA's 30th). Cirstea has 2-0 in direct matches against Sakkari, whom she defeated last year in Istanbul, on hard court, 6-4, 6-2. In the first round of the tournament in Doha, Romanian national Irina Begu is to play on Tuesday against Australian Samantha Stosur.
On Monday, in the first round, Monica Niculescu has scored a sensational victory against Russia's Maria Sharapova, while Mihaela Buzarnescu eliminated Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko. Halep, world's no.2, is to face off Russia's Ekaterina Makarova, on Wednesday, in the second round.