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Athlete of the Week

The tennis player Monica Niculescu

Photo: facebook.com/Moni.Niculescu
Photo: facebook.com/Moni.Niculescu

, 21.05.2024, 13:45

 

The Romanian tennis player Monica Niculescu and Spain’s Cristina Bucşa Monday qualified into the quarter-finals of the doubles competition of the WTA 500 tournament in Strasbourg, with EUR 800,000 in total prize money. Monica and the Chişinău-born Cristina Bucşa, defeated Marie Bouzkova (Czech Republic) / Tereza Mihalikova (Slovakia) 6-1, 6-3, securing a EUR 7,400 cheque and 108 WTA points.

 

In the quarter-finals, Niculescu and Bucşa will take on Ashlyn Kruger and Sloane Stephens (US). Last week, Monica and Lin Zhu (China) reached the doubles final of the WTA 125 Trophée Clarins in Paris, which had EUR 100,000 in prize money. For her performance in the French capital, Radio Romania International designated Monica Niculescu Athlete of the Week.

 

In Paris, Monica Niculescu / Lin Zhu started off with a 6-3, 6-4 win against the Japanese Eri Hoizumi / Makoto Ninomiya. In the semis, they took on Greet Minnen (Belgium) / Heather Watson (UK). After 6-0 in the first set, Monica and her partner lost the second set 5-7, but in the tiebreak they managed a breath-taking 15-13. They lost the final however to Asia Muhammad (US) / Aldila Sutjiadi (Indonesia), 7-6, 4-6, 11-9.

 

Monica Niculescu was born in Slatina, in the south of Romania, on September 25, 1987. She has been living in Bucharest since the age of 4, and took up tennis at 5 years of age. She has been a professional player since 2002. Her best place in the singles’ world ranking was 28th, in February 2012. She has won 3 WTA singles’ tournaments, in 2013 in Florianopolis, Brazil, in 2014 in Guangzhou, China, and in 2016 in Luxembourg.

 

Her career in the doubles’ competitions has been a lot more successful, with 10 WTA titles won since 2009 in Budapest together with Alisa Kleybanova (Russia). Her best performance in the doubles’ WTA ranking came in April 2018, when she reached no. 11 in the world. At present she is no. 57 in the world doubles’ ranking.

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