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Romania's Niculescu qualifies for semis at ITF tournament in Ilkley

Monica Niculescu

Romanian tennis player Monica Niculescu qualified on Friday for the semifinals of the ITF tournament in Ilkley (the UK), with prizes worth 100,000 US dollars, after defeating Czech Tereza Smitkova, with a score of 6-4, 6-3.

Niculescu (aged 31, WTA's 142nd) needed only one hour and 20 minutes to defeat her opponent. Smitkova (aged 24, WTA's 124th) managed 8 aces, but made 5 double errors.

In the round of 16, Niculescu surpassed Robin Anderson (aged 26, WTA's 175th), with a score of 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Negrescu and Irina Begu, main seeds in women's doubles, withdrew from the competition prior to the event in the quarters, after having won the first round against the pair made up of Lesley Kerkhove (Olanda)/Whitney Osuigwe (US), with a score of 4-6, 6-4, 11-9.

In the semis, Niculescu will face off Slovakia's Jana Cepelova. Niculescu won all the three events so far against Cepelova (aged 26, WTA's 189th).

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