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Potapova vs Vondrousova WTA Budapest Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Teenagers, Porapova and Vondrousova meet in Budapest semi-final

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 23 Feb 2019
  • Anastasia Potapova vs Marketa Vondrousova is live from Budapest on Saturday, 23 February from 7:30pm local time/ 5:30pm GMT
  • First meeting between the two
Anastasia Potapova. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)

It's an all-teenage battle in Budapest on Saturday as former junior rivals, Anastasia Potapova and Marketa Vondrousova meet for the first time at tour-level, with a spot in the final on the line.

17-year-old Potapova is seeking her third tour-level final, while 19-year-old Vondrousova is attempting to qualify for her first final since her stunning run through the qualifiers to the Biel title in April 2017.

Potapova was almost unheard off through the first half of 2018, and was way down at 260th in the world at the start of April, but the 2016 Wimbledon junior champion climbed the rankings sharply in the second half, and was inside the top 100 by the end of the season after reaching finals at the Moscow River Cup (lost to Olga Danilovic), and Tashkent (lost to Margarita Gasparyan).

Prior to Budapest, Potapova had won just one tour-level match all season, but it was a significant one in her budding career as she defeated Frenchwoman, Pauline Parmentier in the first round of the Australian Open to pick up her first ever Grand Slam main draw win. She was beaten by Madison Keys in the second round. Her only other WTA main draw appearance was in Brisbane in the opening week of the year, where, as a qualifier, she lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round.

Competing for the first time since the Australian Open, Potapova opened her Budapest campaign with a hard-fought 6-4 2-6 7-6 victory over Great Britain's Heather Watson (she was 3-5 down in the final set), before seeing off former top-ten player, Andrea Petkovic 6-2 7-5 in the second round. She came through her second three-set battle of the week in the quarter finals against Sorana Cirstea, outlasting the former Roland Garros quarter finalist, 6-4 6-7 7-5 in two hours and 50 minutes to advance to her third WTA semi-final. Potapova served for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but she couldn't get over the line, as Cirstea broke back before taking the ensuing tie break. The third set was also very tight, but it was the youngster who snatched the match-winning break in the twelfth game to claim victory in a fluctuating contest.

"The key was to just stay patient, to focus just on each point -- not even on the point, on the ball which I hit, on the technique," said Potapova.
“I was enjoying every second of this match, because I like playing the matches like these, because it shows you you can do whatever you want, you just need to push yourself over the limits and you can win."

Next up for the world No. 56 is a semi-final date with fellow teenager, Marketa Vondrousova on Saturday.


Marketa Vondrousova. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Vondrousova rocketed into the WTA mainstream in April 2017 when she rose through the qualifying rounds to claim her maiden WTA title in Biel Bienne, in just her second main draw appearance. That result took her from 233rd in the world to 117th at the time, wand she was into the top 100 by the end of the year.

Understandably, she initially struggled to reproduce that sort of performance in the subsequent weeks, as took some time to adjust from competing at ITF level to playing top-tier tennis week-in week-out, but she still squeezed in three more main draw match wins that season, including her first in a Grand Slam at Roland Garros.

Without being spectacular, the left-hander solidified her top 100 position in 2018, finishing at 68th, just one spot off her year-end ranking from her previous season. The highlight of her 2018 season was a semi-final in Gstaad, and fourth-round runs at the US Open and Indian Wells. 

The Czech did not start 2019 until the Australian Open, where she beat Evgeniya Rodina before falling to Petra Martic, but she didn't play again until Budapest, where she has got past Georgina Garcia Perez, Anna Blinkova and Irina-Camelia Begu, the latter two in three sets, to set up a semi-final meeting with Potapova.

"I am very excited to be in the semifinals," Vondrousova said. "I played yesterday like 2 hours 40 [minutes], so I was a bit tired, but I just kept fighting and I played a good match."

Friday's meeting with Potapova is a first between the two teenagers at tour-level- which of these aggressive, free-swinging youngsters will take her chance and advance to another WTA Final?

Anastasia Potapova vs Marketa Vondrousova is live from Budapest on Saturday, 23 February from 7:30pm local time/ 5:30pm GMT

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Potapova vs Vondrousova WTA Budapest Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Teenagers, Porapova and Vondrousova meet in Budapest semi-final

Anastasia Potapova and Marketa Vondrousova meet on Saturday to battle for a spot in the Budapest final. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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