Turkey’s no. 1 player Cagla Buyukakcay made a dream start to the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup. Buyukakcay recorded her first main draw win against Russian Marina Melnikova 6-3, 6-3 in the seventh attempt at her home tournament.
Currently ranked 118th Cagla started the game well and took an early 4-1 lead. Melnikova tried to make a comeback but Buyukakcay broke serve before grabbing the first set 6-3 at the Garanti Koza Arena.
Qualifier Melnikova missed the break opportunity while leading 3-2 in the second set. In the end, it was Cagla all over again as the home heroine closed the match with four consecutive games to reach 6-3.
Buyukakcay, who won %71 of her first serves, improved her head to head record to 4-0 against Melnikova. Turkish star will face either defending champion Lesia Tsurenko or Sorana Cirstea in the second round.
Latvian Anastasija Sevastova and Swedish Johanna Larsson were also victorious in their first round encounters. Sevastova needed only 43 minutes to score a “double bagel” against Serbian Aleksandra Krunic.
On the other hand, the story was different for Larsson as it took 2 hours and 41 minutes for the 8th seed to knock out Ukrainian qualifier Maryna Zanevska 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 and reach the last 16 at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup.