Romanian baseliner Monica Niculescu produced a breakthrough season in 2011 as she reached her first Grand Slam fourth round at the U.S. Open, was a Beijing semifinalist and advanced to her first WTA final in Luxembourg where she lost to Victoria Azarenka. She won her lone WTA doubles title at Budapest in 2009 partnering Alisa Kleybanova. In February, 2013, she won her first career WTA title in Florianopolis. On September 20, 2014, she defeated Alize Cornet, 6-4, 6-0, to win her second title in Guangzhou. She trains with fellow Romanians Sorana Cirstea and Ioana Raluca Olaru. Niculescu began playing tennis at age five with her older sister, Gabriela, a former pro, who attends college in the United States.