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World No. 43 Mihaela Buzarnescu survived a first-round scare Tuesday, defeating Naomi Broady 7-5, 7-5, to advance to the second round of the Dow Tennis Classic.

In the first set the No. 1 seeded Buzarnescu played deep and offensive tennis against the 2016 singles champion. The Romanian would need to wait until 5-5 in the first set before breaking serve and taking the first set 7-5.

In the second set both players continued their rhythm, with Broady taking an early break to lead the set. The 27-year old Brit kept Buzarnescu on her top game, before being broken again at 5-5. The No. 1 seed closed out the match 7-5, 7-5 in just over 1 hour and 30 minutes.

“She [Broady] has a very good serve and ground strokes. I knew that it would be a tough first-round match. It could have been a championship match,” said Buzarnescu. The 29-year old reached a career-high ranking of No. 43 in the world on Monday.

 In January she had the best results of her career when she reached the finals of the Hobart International, losing to Elise Mertens in a tough three-set match. She then played in the Australian Open where she lost first round to eventual champion Caroline Wozniacki.

This is Buzarnescu’s first time playing in Midland and she is looking to add yet another title to her storied career. The Romanian holds 56 ITF Pro Circuit singles and doubles titles overall (22 in singles, 34 in doubles). And while she is enjoying her recent success, she is focused and taking it one match at a time.

“If I win, I win. But if I don’t, then it’s not the end of the world. I am just here to play the best tennis that I can,” said Buzarnescu. Next up she faces Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland.

Voegele defeated Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4, 6-3, earlier in the afternoon. Buzarnescu and Schmiedlova have yet to face each other in their careers.

2018Austin Woody