Maria Timofeeva has won her clinched her career's WTA title by winning the WTA 250 Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. The 19 years-old Russian defeated Kateryna Baindl in today's final in a three-setter ended up with a score 6-3 3-6 6-0. The achievement of Timofeeva is even more notable due to the fact, that she entered the main draw in Budapest as a lucky loser, after coming up short in the last round of qualies before the tournament. It's just the third time in the history, when the lucky loser took the title in the WTA level event.
Road to the final
Timofeeva's ride during the week in Hungary was a challenging path, as the youngster was rated as an underdog in all of her main draw's matches up to the final. She started the tournament from a win in a tough three-setter against Daria Saville, who is coming back to competition after long injury. The player ranked in 246th place on WTA list before the tournament performed another upsets against Diana Shnaider, Kaja Juvan and Nadia Podoroska, making all the steps to the final done while being rated with pre-match odds, respectively: 3.69, 3.42 and 2.86. Saying that the appearance of Timofeeva in the final was unexpected before the start of Hungarian Grand Prix is an understatement.
The story of the week of Kateryna Baindl was also quite unusual, but much different, than in case of her final's opponent. The Ukrainian had a great luck in a draw, facing three Hungarian wild card receivers on the road to semis, being a confident favorite in all of those matches, where the highest ranked opponent was placed 345th in the WTA list. The first serious test came up in the semis, when Baindl played against an opponent from top 100 of the rankings, Claire Liu. Despite the odds being against her this time, rating her chances for 2.59 before the match, Baindl performed a straight sets victory after two tight sets, winning by 7-5 7-6(3). As it happened, the Ukrainian reached out the final without losing a single set before Sunday's title clash.
Sealing the title with a bagel
The chances of both the players were rated simillarly before the final, which had not a clear favorite before the start. Timofeeva grabbed the first set due to being effective in a crucial moments. The Russian has defended first breakpoint faced in 6th game and held for the score 3-3, winning the 3 following games after this to move up into a set lead. Baindl regrouped well and was more concrete from the start of second set, to move the settlement into decider after 90 minutes of play. While the third set was expected to be a delightful battle, it has not happened at all. Timofeeva raised up her level and performed brilliantly, not giving any chance for her more experienced opponent to take up any fight in decisive set. The youngster did not give away any single game, being super effective on serve and putting the big pressure on Baindl throughout whole the set, which allowed her to deliver a sensational victory.
Maria Timofeeva earns a huge ranking boost due to her title run in Budapest. The Russian lifts up by 117 places to advance into her new career's highest 129th spot, up from 246th. Kateryna Baindl also capitalizes on the 4 wins performed on the road to the final in Hungary, moving up by 23 places into 77th spot in the rankings. The semifinalists also gains on their appearance in Budapest. Claire Liu gains 10 places to move up into 78th, while Nadia Podoroska lifts up from 80th to 66th place.