Karola Bejenaru makes solid start in bid to boost ranking
Karola Bejenaru, 191 in the ITF under-18 rankings, started off 2014 in style when she defeated Dominika Sujova of the host country in the first round of the Slovakia indoor event in Senec.
The 16-year-old east Belfast girl dominated the match from the start with her heavy hitting, winning 6-4 6-2, putting her through to the last 16. She will now face Russia's Anna Kalinskaya, the number three seed.
The Windsor tennis club ace is aiming this year to get her ranking high enough so she can play in the major junior tournaments such as the French Open and Wimbledon.
Bejenaru's Windsor coach Przemek Stec said: "This is the most important year for Karola so far because now she is pushing to get into Grand Slam events.
"She is going to be doing a lot of events over the next few months and hopefully she can get her ranking down to a point where she can play the French Open and Wimbledon junior events.
"It's going to be tough and she is going to have to work harder than ever but I know she has the potential to do it.
"She had a good first round win in Slovakia and now hopefully she can push on and maybe get to the semis. It's a grade two event so the standard has got up a level."
Following this event, Bejenaru has another lined up in the Czech Republic next week, which is a grade one tournament. Then, she may also play in a women's event in Germany in two weeks' time.