GRAPEVINE -- The last time Sorana Cirstea was on the court in the Texas Tennis Open, the temperature was in excess of 105 degrees. She held up well to win the doubles title with Alberta Brianti.
On Sunday night, with temperatures in the mid-80s during her opening-round singles match against Jarmilla Gajdosova, the No. 41-ranked Cirstea was feeling the heat from No. 99 Gajdosova.
But Cirstea found a way to pump herself up and pull out a 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory to move into the second round.
Cirstea started strong, opening a 4-1 lead in the first set, but Gajdosova, from Australia, rallied and had the Romanian talking to herself heading into the first-set tiebreaker.
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Even after winning the first set, Cirstea continued to struggle, smashing her racket during the first game of the second set and falling behind 2-0.
"Sometimes it's good to get the fire going," Cirstea said of her outburst. "I was a little bit frustrated because I was up in the first set and I always have tough matches against her. I knew she would fight back and I lost it a little bit there."
The added fire helped. Cirstea broke Gajdosova in back-to-back games to go up 5-4, and she finished off the match to advance to the second round.
"I was really happy to pull out the match because she's a great player and I always have trouble against her," Cirstea said. "I just tried to stay in my head and try and fight every point. One or two points can cost you the set, so I had to fight. When you play good, it's easy. When you don't play so good, you have to find a way to get through those matches."
In other action Sunday, Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak knocked off No. 5 seed Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-0, 7-6 (2); No. 4 seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium cruised past Heather Watson of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4; and No. 7 seed Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic, 6-0, 6-2. Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands retired with an right abdominal injury.
Sunday's first-round action may have been a teaser for tonight's featured matches on the temporary Stadium Court at the Hilton DFW Lakes Hotel. Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan meets former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, followed by a match between top seed and No. 7-ranked Angelique Kerber of Germany and Mirjana Lucic of Croatia.
Kerber is scheduled to arrive in Texas this afternoon after her finals match in the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Rusty Hall, 817-390-7760