WTA: Drama and frustration in the first round of Hamburg and Palermo for Romania’s representatives

In a somewhat less crowded period of world tennis, the Romanian representatives did not take a break. Along with the victory of Alexandra Kadanao-Ignatik, in the first round of the European Open, Irina Peugeot only passed a psychological test.

Instead, on the Sicilian stage also in Palermo, Anna Bogdan was the heroine of some unusually tense moments. It could well have been avoided, however, if the game turned into a marathon with Sarah Sorribes, and Tormo was closed more quickly by the Roman.

Sad connotations continued to appear in Hamburg, where Gabriella Ross was conspicuously defeated in the opening duel by Bernarda Pera, from the position of the defending champion. Also in Germany, Irina Barra took advantage of the opportunity to have a more than competitive meeting with Annette Kontaveit. Baltic prevailed from second place in the WTA, including round two of many missed opportunities for Arad’s representative.


The transition period on the mud, which separates the North American Tour from the turf game, does not offer a moment of respite for fighters who understand the need to raise the bar. As a result, the calendar will not only remain crowded, but also crowded.

Post-London journeys began from the Hungarian capital to the heart of Sicily. But, besides the station in Palermo, to which we will quickly return, there is another destination with a huge tradition that keeps its doors open for tennis players – Hamburg, host of the European Open. The pre-campaign competition series resumed, putting the names of the last two champions: Kim Clijsters and Gabe Ross into an unprecedented connection.

It is interesting that, at least at the beginning of the current competition, a particular citizen of Bucharest who was evoked had the same status. Furthermore, Alexandra Kadanao Ignatik was the only Romanian player forced to take the qualifying route this week. For the 30-year-old, taking part in the main draw has become the only viable goal on the Pro Tour. Given the more modest ranking, the volume of games up to that point turned out to be high, from competition to competition.

But on the German expedition, the necessary successes came in time, and the fate of the opening round came to her an opponent who had not been able to resist on several previous occasions. Nao Hibino is a vigilant counterpart to the last shift, with less dangerous behavior on the slower surface. Nippona was slow to respond, looking forward to the opening match he wasn’t hoping too much for. With great confidence, our compatriot put herself in the lead, although the second season will play differently.

The Japanese were able to better coordinate their defensive skills to prolong the confrontation long enough to realize the dramatic potential. But, in the final third of Monday afternoon, Cadanto showed that she was the player with more assets, as she managed to finish the match after an unforgettable run, with a score of 6-3; 2-6; 6-2. For a long time, it seemed that Alexandra would be the only three colors in which the road to Hamburg would run smoothly. Meanwhile, the paradox of the last class was about to register for the Palermo competition.

It should be noted that even before her, Anna Bogdan created a model of braces with amazing developments. From Paris to London, the unpredictable scenarios continued for Asas Prahova, and the match in Budapest against Xiyu Wang was no exception. In a rare development, when everything seemed lost in both camps, referring to a tie-breaker in the second set that ended with a score of 12-14, the Asian found the resources to cross the finish line, after almost 180 minutes. Crossing the continent to the Sicilian capital was no smoother at the time, with Sarah Sorribes Tormo ranked fourth with Palermo Internationals.

However, given the awful heat conditions I encountered including south of the peninsula, the first hour of play seemed to produce a visible result. The ace from No. 41 on the WTA folded perfectly with the mood for Bogdan’s game, which was in control. The dominance of the majority of points was clearly altered at the table as well, with the Iberian team having a hard time finding an answer to the opponent’s executions. Only, missing the chance of achieving the score 6-2; The score 4-0 was the moment the Spaniard was hoping for.

Despite the enormous difficulties caused by the temperature, the preferred paper made gradual progress until the pressure reached the other side of the field. As a result, Anna would give up, but much more than she initially imagined, the second dominant group was largely lost. Delays deemed outside regulatory limits have already raised a topic that will remain in the spotlight for a long time, not for the best of reasons.

Long discussions with tournament officials brought nothing but the most tense sequences of the women’s season. Moreover, removing the six penalty points was not an option, despite Anna’s frustration, justified in a very frantic scenario. Suddenly, her opponent became the favorite to win the match, but the mental duel remained hard to break. The Roman seemed completely detached, but the moments when the tables could be turned were not few. Lost last eight exchanges after further disagreements with the chair umpire, unfounded According to a replay in that court, the tennis player from Sinaia (6-2; 4-6; 2-6) bowed in an incredible new marathon, completely drained into a level Confidence.

The drama with a Roman-Iberian contribution was far from over, however, in the central square of Palermo. Irina Bijou faced Mariana Bassols Ribera for the first time in her career, a young opponent who did not lose many sides. Although the more modest fighter showed good moments, Bucharest rested more after a disappointing elimination from Lausanne absorbed the first stage precedence.

Later, however, the young occupant who took 226th place in the world increased her already unusual aggressiveness. She did not give up the lead of the second half, although she faced many pressures. Suddenly, all the momentum on the part of Madrid and in the future was preserved, and at first, its most courageous opponent had big question marks. After she was driven back without much objection, Begu managed to stay close enough to give her more experience.

More subduedly, in the most stable match at home, the sixth-seeded equalized and settled the dispute in his favour. Although she was by no means immune to emotions in the five-match streak that ended the evening (including four saved chances to re-break), Irina maintained her composure to avoid another difficult early elimination. Unfortunately, in a more than similar case, a native who has run into the finals of the current Grand Slam, which kicks off in 2021, will end up missing out.

Gabi Ross had no choice but to try to get as far as possible in the only trial that involved defending the crown from Hamburg. But, also given the completely volatile form of the winner of the final with Andrea Petkovic, things could not be worse. Far from the famous central square, the athlete trained by Iulian Vespan carried Bernarda Pera in front. The American was able to reach the Am Rothenbaum complex immediately after winning the title in Budapest, coming from the qualifiers.

In other words, we witnessed the same scenario in the case of the ex-Croatia delegate, which was observed for the player from Bucharest the previous season. So the positive moment emerged for the ninth candidate who arrived in Germany after another painful defeat in Budapest against Camila Rakimova. One element that persisted even after Gabi left the neighboring country was the startling inconsistency in the work. It’s just that, on a totally lost start in the afternoon, Ross was instantly confused. Both the opponent, and perhaps the personal peg, prevented it from even approaching the desired pace.

Collecting the first white group after a long time seemed to provide the necessary incentive for a more combative game, but the massive damage of the first execution remained impossible to avoid. Virtually any advantage that Ross created on the court and at the table, respectively, could not be sustained due to the frequency of the service. Last week’s award winner has remained very aggressive and particularly motivated to come back, despite her difficulties.

It could all come to an end for the heroine who only had a couple of matches left, but then again, like in Hungary, she stepped up enough to give herself hope. The highly likely tiebreak was nullified by the last two double faults, taking Ross’ total to 11. Pera only needed to throw one more unstoppable hit to make it 6-0; 6-4. Thus, Gabriela’s adventure in the WTA’s top 100 will come to a halt after about a year, at least the way we wanted it to.

Finally, one unidentified person remains, who had to wait more than three days until the start, to be screened in the women’s first round of the European Open. The context in question focused primarily on Irina Barra, who somehow found herself, mid-season, in another ceremonial position in her career. If at Wimbledon she faced Paula Padusa, the Central Court in Hamburg was waiting for the outside player who wanted with Annette Kontaveit.

Although the path is far from convincing, the Estonian still ranks second in the world ranking, whether circumstances or not. It was the humble form that made the finalist of the Champions Tour accept an invitation to Hamburg, open against a true clay specialist. Although they had won only one of their last six encounters, Baltic did not need several minutes to take control of the table.

However, as happens in most meetings, especially those that take place at a certain level, Áradean finds resources to stay close to the most famous opponent. The latter is gradually adapting, but better with the always diverse game that the other side proposes. Perhaps uncharacteristically for Barra, the pace of points in the first chapter undoubtedly increased due to the inspiration of the residents of Tallinn.

As a result, it is still interesting to note whether Irina will be able to take advantage of the opportunities obtained in the next sequence. Several stunning closed points once again raise the question of Irina’s ranking, which never reached double digits. Exceptionally able to re-launch the second set with four consecutive matches, the Romanian player gradually tested the absolute patience of the main favourite. At the same time, resistance became necessary amid Estonia’s physical decline, as the game took on dramatic accents.

Somehow out of nowhere, but increasingly, the advantage has gone into the distinctly lower-ranked player camp. However, being in two rows in front of sending a tie to the decisive leg, Irina very clearly showed her offensive limits in action. Annette forced Kontaveit to break a tie that shouldn’t have happened anyway, and extra courage and precision ensured her success, 6-3; 7-6 (3).

There were only a few things left to add that could have made the start of a tennis week even more difficult. But the opening controversies in northern Germany and southern Italy, once again convinced how capricious the pure sport can remain, under the women’s branch, which still shows us that we can expect any controversies and trials to match, including for representatives of the tricolor.

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