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Romania's Cirstea, Begu advance to Australian Open second round

sorana carstea

Romanian tennis players Sorana Cirstea and Irina Begu on Tuesday progresses to the women's singles second round at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, which takes place in Melbourne.

Cirstea, 31, world number 38, defeated Czech player Petra Kvitova, 31, world number 19, 6-2 6-2 in one hour and 11 minutes.

Cirstea is now 6-3 in the head-to-head count. The two also met in the second round of the 2020 Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne, when Cirstea won 6-1 4-6 6-1.

She will have an easier opponent in the second round, Kristina Kucova (Slovakia), who has beaten Japanese Misaki Doi 6-3 7-5. The Romanian defeated Kucova, 31, world number 96, in their only direct match, 6-3 4-6 6-4 in the first round at the 2017 Shenzhen Open.

It took Begu, 31, world number 64, three sets to prevail over France's Oceane Dodin, 25, world number 85, 2-6 7-5 6-3 in two hours and 37 minutes.

Begu had also won their first meet, in the second round of Wimbledon 2019, 6-3 1-6 8-6.

Begu's next opponent is 19th seeded 26-year-old Elise Mertens of Belgium, world number 26, who defeated Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-4 7-5.

Mertens won both meets with Begu: 3-6 7-5 7-5 in the 2017 Fed Cup and 6-1 6-1 in the semi-finals of the 2017 Istanbul Cup.

Cirstea and Begu have each won 154,000 Australian dollars and 70 WTA singles points for their performance in Australia. In the second round, they join two other Romanians, Gabriela Ruse and Jaqueline Cristian. Compatriot Simona Halep can also advance to the second round if she defeats Polish Magdalena Frech.


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