Tennis, Indian Wells: Niculescu vs. Cirstea in the first round
Romanian tennis players Monica Niculescu and Sorana Cîrstea will play against each other in the first round of the singles event at Indian Wells (California), Premier Mandatory tournament, with total prizes of USD 8,648,508.
Niculescu (30, 71st WTA), coming from the qualifying rounds, after winning against American Ann Li and Italian Roberta Vinci, leads 5-3 in the direct matches against Sorana (27, 35th WTA). Niculescu and Cirstea played against each other also in the last year’s first round at Indian Wells.
The winner will face Venus Williams, 8th WTA, in the second round.
Simona Halep, 26, 1st WTA, will play in the second round against the winner between Krystina Pliskova (Czech Republic) and Ying-Ying Duan (China).
Irina Begu, 26, 36th WTA, will face Aleksandra Krunic (24, 47th WTA), whom she defeated in all previous matches.
Mihaela Buzarnescu (29, 38th WTA) will play against Jennifer Brady (22, 86th WTA).
Last year, the tournament at Indian Wells was won by Elena Vesnina. Simona Halep was defeated in the third round by Kristina Mladenovici (France). Halep won the Indian Wells title in 2015, after defeating Jelena Jankovici (Serbia) in the final.