Nadia Podoroska, the last remaining seed at the Hungarian Grand Prix made her way out of the tournament in the semi-finals. On Saturday, lucky loser Maria Timofeeva upset the ninth-seeded Argentine, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes of play.
Timofeeva won 56% of her first-serve points to Podoroska’s 57% and 48% of her second-serve points to her seeded rival’s 44%. She saved eight of the 15 break points she faced while converting seven break points on Podoroska’s serve.
The 19-year-old finished the match with just one more point than her opponent’s 114. This was the third match this week in which Timofeeva pushed the proceedings to the deciding set. In the two previous occasions she played three-setters in the Hungarian capital, against Daria Saville and Kaja Juvan in the first round and quarter-final respectively, Timofeeva had come from a set down.
Hungarian Grand Prix: Will Kateryna Baindl win her first WTA singles title?
This has been quite a week for the world no. 246 who got to play in the main draw of a WTA tournament for the first time in her career, here. In the final, looking to add another milestone, Timofeeva will now play Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl.
Baindl won two consecutive matches on Saturday to make it to the second WTA final of her career. Earlier, she defeated Fanny Stollar in their quarter-final match after it’d gotten rescheduled on Friday evening, 7-6(5), 6-3.
Baindl needed slightly over two hours to get the win. Incidentally, all three of her initial matches in the tournament were against Hungarian wildcards. In the first round, she beat Natalia Szabanin. In the second round, the 29-year-old got past Amarissa Toth and then, in the quarter-finals, Stollar.
Baindl’s opponent in the semi-final was American Claire Liu. To make it to the final, Baindl needed two hours and 32 minutes to clinch a 7-5, 7-6(3) win. The 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix final’s the first time the world no.
100’s reached a WTA final in over five years. Back in 2018, Baindl reached the Taiwan Open final and lost it to a Hungarian, Timea Babos. Photo Credit: Mathias Schulz