This Monday saw the first main draw matches played at the USD 250,000 WTA Hungarian Grand Prix women's tennis tournament at the Római Tennis Academy in Budapest. In singles, both Hungarians competing today lost but local fans could see a Hungarian victory in doubles.
Both Hungarian players participating in the singles main draw on Monday, Tímea Babos and Fanny Stollár, were eliminated in the first round of the clay court tournament.
The three-time world doubles and four-time Grand Slam champion, home favorite Tímea Babos is currently ranked 299th in the world singles rankings and has been given a wild card to take part at the Hungarian tournament.
In the first round, she faced Ukrainian Katerina Baindl who took a 4:2 lead in the first set, but the Babos broke back (4:4) and had three break points in no time. But Baindl, much to the chagrin of the 300 spectators, turned the game around and immediately took the Hungarian's serve, who was in disarray, and won the set 6-4 after 48 minutes.
The Ukrainian player continued to make fewer mistakes as the match wore on, while Babos, who was also ranked 25th, was visibly bothered by the occasional gale-force wind. Baindl went up 3-0, but the Hungarian found her strength and broke back, and the match was open again at 3-3. However, that was all Babos could do and lost the second set 3-6.
Stollár, who is ranked 357th in the world, started from the qualifying round and reached the main draw after defeating a Mexican and a Spanish opponent over the weekend. Last year, she had fond memories of this tournament as she won the doubles event alongside Romania's Mihaela Buzărnescu.
This Monday, the 23-year-old Hungarian faced world No. 36 Alyaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, ranked 36th. As expected, Sasnovich won the first set 6-3 but Stollár put her game together and equalized by winning the second set 6-0 in 23 minutes. In the deciding set, and the Belarusian broke Stollár’s serve at 3:2, the Hungarian immediately produced a re-break but could do no more as she lost the set 3-6.
In the other first round matches on Monday:
Kamilla Rakhimova (Russia) - Elena-Gabriela Ruse (Romania, 7) 6:4, 6:7 (3-7), 6:3
Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine) – Carolina Alves (Brazil) 6:4, 6:1
Bernarda Pera (USA) – Marina Bassols Ribera (Spain) 6:2, 7:5
Doubles, Round 1:
Anna Bondár / Panna Udvardy (Hungary) – Julia Lohoff (Germany) / Laura Ioana Paar (Romania) 5:7, 6:0 (10-3)
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