Second round of the WTA 250 Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest has delivered some notable upsets, which results in the interesting and quite an unexpected line-up of the quarterfinals. Just three of the seeds are still in the contention with top 5 of them being already out at the stage of two rounds completed so far.
The 19 years-old Russian was considered as an underdog ahead of the match against her fellowcountry Diana Shnaider. The current world's number 110 has defeated the tournament's top seed Bernarda Pera in first round, but this time she was the one to face an upset. Timofeeva was rated with an odd 3.69 before the match-up with Shnaider and made a surprise in stunning way, as she gave away her opponent just 2 games during the dominant performance ended up with a score 6-1 6-1.
Kaja Juvan achieves her first quarterfinal on the WTA level in 2023. The Slovenian lives a good momentum, as she managed to climb through the qualies field at Wimbledon Championships, where she also scored one win in the main draw. Juvan performed another successful run in the qualies in Budapest, followed by two wins in main tournament, which gave her the spot in quarterfinals. The former world's number 58 defeated Astra Sharma in second round by 6-2 4-6 6-2.
Elina Avanesyan (6) vs. Nadia Podoroska (9)
Avanesyan is the highest ranked player from whole the quarterfinalists. The 6th seed earned her place in quarterfinals after a scoring a dominant win against the home crowd's favorite, Anna Bondar. The Russian won 6-3 6-0 to advance into second QF within a month, following the run in WTA 500 in Berlin. The match-up between her and Nadia Podoroska can be considered as the best QFs pairing on paper. It's not just the only one match-up betweeen two seeds, but both seem to have a good momentum on clay.
The Argentinian showed up well in June's WTA 125 challengers in Spain, approaching the quarters in La Bisbal and semis in Valencia. The campaign in Hungary started slowly for Podoroska, who lost the opening set of first round match against Storm Hunter by 1-6. The former world's number 36 clicked the gear after this though, as she lost just 5 games in the following 5 sets played against Hunter and the qualifier Anna Siskova in second round.
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (8) vs. Claire Liu
The Slovakian approached Budapest after unsuccessful grass season, as she fell out in first round of both the tournaments played at Wimbledon and in ITF event in Ilkley. Schmiedlova found herself feeling well again on clay, as she managed to approach 4th round in Roland Garros a few weeks ago. This time, the current world's number 83 advanced into quarters after defeating Tamara Korpatsch in a tough three-setter, won by 4-6 6-2 6-3.
Claire Liu is the author of a big comeback in one of the weirdest matches of the week. The American played against 4th seed Yulia Putintseva. The Kazakh was a pre-match favorite with an odd 1.51, but it was Liu who started this match better by winning the opening set. Putintseva regrouped herself well enough to dominate second set and moved up into 5-0 lead with double break advantage. She had a great chance to end up this set with a bagel, while creating two setpoints during Liu's service game later on. The world's number 88 did not give up and stayed in the contention. Putintseva had another chances in following games, which were a really tight battle. Liu was more resilient in the crucial moments every time, as broke her opponent 3 times in a row and defended 3 setpoints on a road to the surprising tiebreak settlement. This was no less intense contest. Both players had multiple chances to clinch the second set, but Putintseva wasted another 2 setpoints there, incrementing the total amount of chances to close this set to 5. Liu created 3 matchpoints in tiebreak and converted the third one to win the match by 6-3 7-6(8) despite being *1-5 15-40 down at one point.
Fanny Stollar vs. Kateryna Baindl
The Hungarian is surely the biggest sensation of the tournament so far. The wild card receiver, currently ranked 441th in the WTA list, approached the quarterfinals as the only one hosts country's representative. Stollar performed a huge upset over 5th seed Tatjana Maria in second round. The home crowd's favorite was rated with an odd 4.68 ahead of the match against last year's Wimbledon semifinalist. Stollar has surprisingly won the opening set after breaking her favorized opponent 3 times in a row and added another break at the start of second set, moving up into set and break lead with a score 6-3 2-0. Maria fought back and won the following 6 games in a row, moving the settlement into decider. The German looked like taking control of this match in third set, while leading by 4-2 and keeping away a threat of facing a big upset. This has come back though, as Stollar leveled the score in 8th game.
The decisive moments of this match passed under the sign of wasted chances by the match favorite. Maria regained her advantage in 11th game and had a chance to serve for the match, but go broken to love by Stollar, who forced the decisive tiebreak. The German was on a front foot from the start, moving up into 3-0 lead and being 6-4 up later on, which resulted with two matchpoints, including one within own serve. The Hungarian did not give up and surprised a stunning sensation by winning 4 points in a row from this to secure the big win with a score 6-3 2-6 7-6(6). It's Stollar's first WTA quarterfinal since 2018, when she showed up as a great prospect by advancing into two QFs on the highest level and reaching out her career's highest 114th place in the rankings.
Kateryna Baindl moved into quarters after defeating the player, who was the dubious hero of arguably the biggest scandal of the season during her first round's match against Shuai Zhang. The Ukrainian was a favorite ahead of the match against Amarissa Toth and did the job done by the score 6-3 6-1. Baidl capitalizes on a good luck in the draw of Hungarian Grand Prix, as she faced two low ranked local players on the road to QFs and did not waste her chance to bounce back after 3 consecutive loses in a row before heading into Budapest.