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Birthday bonus for Bejenaru as she hits form again with title triumph

By John Flack

Karola Bejenaru landed her second professional title at the weekend when she captured the doubles trophy at a $15,000 tournament in Portugal in emphatic fashion.

The Romanian-born Windsor player, who turned 21 on Friday, shared success with a new playing partner, Swede Jacqueline Cabajawad.

The pair defeated third seeds Zell Desai (India) and Christina Ene (Romania) 6-1, 6-0 as Bejenaru added another doubles title to the one she claimed in Egypt three years ago.

The result comes as a welcome boost for the Belfast-based player, who has had a frustrating time with injuries over the past couple of years. She had slipped down the world rankings due initially to her enforced inactivity on the circuit and then a run of poor results as she struggled to recapture her form.

However, she is on an upward trajectory now, having climbed to a world-ranking of 883 in singles and her win on Saturday will see her rise into the top 1,000 in doubles.

Bejenaru said: "I feel super happy to have won the title with my new partner, especially having celebrated my birthday on Friday, so it was a great present."

"Overall in these last few weeks, I've been preparing, training and playing matches in something like my best form."

Meanwhile, Caleb Ralston Jordan McKeown and Jessica Leeman will carry Ulster's best hopes at the junior ITF tournament in Dublin which starts today.

Belfast Telegraph

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