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Windsor player Karola Bejenaru makes big time after impressing in Romania

By John Flack

Karola Bejenaru is through to the main draw at a $10,000 tournament in her native Romania after making it three wins in a row in qualifying yesterday.

The 18-year-old Windsor player, who has been in imperious form after taking an enforced break through illness, had little difficulty in disposing of compatriot Andrada Surdeanu 6-1, 6-2.

In reaching the first round proper of the tournament, Bejenaru has lost a total of only nine games in three matches and her latest victory has earned her a meeting with another Romanian, Evelyne Tiron, today when world ranking points will be up for grabs.

For the east Belfast-based teenager, the match represents a terrific opportunity to make the last 16 of a $10k competition for the third time in the space of a year.

Her 16-year-old opponent was handed a wild card entry into the tournament and has yet to win a match in the main draw of a pro tour event.

"I am very happy that I got into the main draw again and I played really well throughout qualifying," said Karola.

"I was very positive and confident during the three matches so I am looking forward to the next one."

Bejenaru was forced to pull out of a similar tournament in Romania last week when she had to retire during her qualifying match.

"It was 50 degrees and I was feeling unwell in the first set and at the start of the second so I had no alternative but to withdraw," she added.

"But I had a good rest for a few days before getting in some practice.

"I am now fully recovered and it's nowhere near as hot this week, thankfully."

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