The 2017 BRD Bucharest Open is one of a handful of unique events on tour every tennis season. It is a clay event played outside the clay season’s natural footprint. Akin to the South American clay swing in late February and early March, the midsummer clay swing occurs while some players are going to Newport on grass, and while others are preparing for the renewal of hardcourt tennis.
The competition in the 32-player main draw begins on Monday, July 17.
Event: BRD Bucharest Open
Category: WTA International tier
Date: July 17-23, 2017
Location: Arenele BNR – Bucharest, Romania
The 2017 Bucharest Open, given its odd position in the tennis season, will not be coveted by the elite players who are either resting after Wimbledon or about to enter the hardcourt events in the final week of July (and perhaps both). This is a tournament for mid-tier players, the players who really want to stay active and make some prize money when much of the tour is taking the week off. The prize money is $250,000, which is normal for this tier on the WTA ladder.
Champion – 280
Runner-up – 180
Semifinal – 110
Quarterfinal – 60
Round of 16 – 30
Former Champions and Results (3 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2016 – Simona Halep def. Anastasija Sevastova – 6-0, 6-0
2015 – Anna Karolina Schmiedlova def. Sara Errani – 7-6, 6-3
2014 – Simona Halep def. Roberta Vinci – 6-1, 6-3
As the 19th-ranked player in the world, Anastasija Sevastova could have done better at Wimbledon than her second round showing. Sevastova looked out of place against local hopeful Heather Watson right from the start in Great Britain. The Latvian appeared befuddled and there was no way out of it. Sevastova’s early loss in Wimbledon came as a shock after her recent exploits in Mallorca, where she won the title beating Julia Goerges in three hard-fought sets. She is an impressive 23-14 on the year but she can get better.
Watson may have embarrassed Sevastova in Wimbledon but at Bucharest, Sevastova will be ready to hunt down her opponents. Her best results have come this season – if she goes on to win the title, she’ll take a huge step toward the top 15 of the rankings. It’s something which looked out of sight four years ago when she had badly injured herself. However, now she looks in a great shape and ready to take on the world.
Carla Suarez Navarro has dropped to 27th in the rankings and going by her recent results, it’s not going to improve anytime soon. Yes, injuries and illness have hampered her progress but some strange losses haven’t helped her cause either. Her Wimbledon campaign was cut short by Peng Shuai, who dismantled her 6-2, 6-2, in the second round.
In Bucharest, Suarez Navarro will be back playing on her favorite surface. She is a miserable 15-13 on the year but she is too good a player to carry on playing terrible tennis. She works as hard as anybody but is still finding it hard to get the right results. Suarez Navarro will definitely have a chance to get back to winning ways but it might not be in Bucharest.
Julia Goerges has come up with some consistent results this year but they haven’t won her any titles. This season Goerges has done exceptionally well compared to previous years on tour, winning 23 matches and losing just 14. The 28-year-old German recently made the grass court finals in Mallorca but couldn’t back it up at the place where it matters most– Wimbledon, where she lost way too early than expected. She lost to Lesia Tsurenko in the opening round of Wimbledon despite smacking 50 winners. Unfortunately, her unforced error count—52 — exceeded the amount of winners. When that happens, it’s hard to win a tennis match.
Goerges will be seen in Bucharest next. Clay isn’t kind to her but if she is aiming to win the title, she’ll have to chop down on the errors.
Christina McHale is the sport’s “nearly woman.” McHale pushes players hard, gives big names a run for their money, and then silently gets out of their way. Mchale ran so close to upsetting Agnieszka Radwanska but the Pole survived two match points to avoid the shock and advance to the next round at Wimbledon. In Bucharest, the field isn’t deep. McHale has the opportunity to earn some wins and climb the rankings.
The 11-court outdoor facility has a 5,000-seat stadium court with the bowl circling around the court to create an intimate atmosphere. The facility is surrounded by greenery, offering a gentle and textured charm to one of the low-key tennis tournaments of the season.
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