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Van Uytvanck vs Vondrousova WTA Budapest live streaming, preview and tips - Van Uytvanck aims to defend Hungarian Ladies Open title against rising star Vondrousova

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 23 Feb 2019
  • Alison Van Uytvanck vs Marketa Vondrousova is live from Budapest at 5.00pm local time on Sunday (4.00pm GMT)
  • First tour-level meeting between the pair
Alison Van Uytvanck (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Alison Van Uytvanck is one win away from back-to-back Hungarian Ladies Open titles as she prepares to face rising teenage star Marketa Vondrousova in the final in Budapest on Sunday.

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Defending champion Alison Van Uytvanck squares off against rising Czech star Marketa Vondrousova for the 2019 Hungarian Ladies Open title on Sunday in Budapest.

On a nine-match winning streak in Budapest after winning her second WTA title in the Hungarian city last season, Van Uytvanck has been forced to survive a couple of miraculous matches in order to give herself the chance to defend her title this week. The Belgian came back from 2-5 down against Vera Zvonareva in the opening round, and after a 6-4 7-5 win over Iga Swiatek in the second, she staged another fightback to beat Katerina Kozlova 3-6 6-1 6-4 in the quarter-finals. But those efforts pale in comparison to the comeback she put together in Saturday’s semi-finals against Ekaterina Alexandrova, with Van Uytvanck recovering from a break down in the deciding set and saving five match points before prevailing by a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(7) scoreline.

“My coach [Kirsten Flipkens] came down on court, and she was like, ‘Okay, you were down 5-2 against Zvonareva, and you beat her 7-5, what do you think? Let’s do the same,'" Van Uytvanck told reporters after her escape. "And I was like, ‘Okay! Let’s keep fighting.’” 
"It’s never easy getting into the tournament as the defending champion," Van Uytvanck continued "I was just like, ‘Let’s play each match. If you win, you win; if you lose, there’s another tournament ahead.’ I tried to keep the pressure away from me.”

Van Uytvanck first burst onto the scene in 2015 when she cracked the top 50 for the first time on the back of reaching her first Grand Slam quarter-finals at the French Open and making semi-finals in Katowice, Seoul and Luxembourg, while she captured her first WTA title two years later in Quebec City as she finished inside the top 100 for the third straight season. The 24-year-old secured her second career title in Budapest last season as she hit a career-high ranking of No. 37, before going on to claim her first top 10 win over Garbine Muguruza as she made the fourth round of Wimbledon.

The Belgian advanced to the semi-finals of Linz to round off 2018 at No. 50 in the world - and that’s the ranking Van Uytvanck arrived in Budapest with after winning just two matches this season, making the second rounds of Hobart and St. Petersburg and losing in the opening rounds of Auckland and the Australian Open. Can Van Uytvanck successfully defend her title on Sunday?

Marketa Vondrousova (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)
Not if Marketa Vondrousova has any say in the matter. The 19-year-old has been an enigmatic presence on tour since bursting onto the scene and winning her maiden WTA title as a 17-year-old in Biel two years ago, but she’s found her best tennis this week in Budapest to make her second tour-level final, defeating Georgina Garcia-Perez, Anna Blinkova, Irina-Camelia Beg and Anastasia Potapova, conquering her fellow teenage star 6-0 6-2 in what was a menacing performance in Saturday’s semi-finals. It was an incredibly clean display from Vondrousova, who hit 15 winners to just 12 unforced errors to emerge victorious in just 61 minutes.


"I think I served good and I was better at the rallies, but it wasn’t an easy match," Vondrousova said. "I keep playing my game and fighting every match."

Ranked outside the world’s top 400 at the start of 2017, Vondrousova was already on the cusp of the top 100 by April of that season after winning two ITF titles, finishing runner-up at two more and then winning her aforementioned maiden WTA title as a qualifier in Biel, defeating the likes of Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Strycova and Anett Kontaveit. After representing Czech Republic in the Fed Cup semi-finals against the USA and earning a win over Lauren Davis, the teenager would break into the top 100 after winning the Trnava $100k, reaching the second round of the French Open and claiming the Prague $80k, ultimately ending 2017 at No. 63 in the world.

Vondrousova would go on to crack the top 50 at the start of 2018 after advancing to the second round of the Australian Open and the Round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, but after failing to defend her points from winning Biel (she lost in the second round of Lugano, the tournament that replaced it on the calendar), the 19-year-old lost in the first round of Roland Garros, s-Hertogenbosch, Mallorca, Wimbledon, Cincinnati and New Haven (in qualifying) to tumble outside the top 100. However, Vondrousova would immediately regain her place in the top 100 courtesy of a nice run at the U.S. Open, where she beat Mihaela Buzarnescu, Eugenie Bouchard and Kiki Bertens to make the fourth round, where she went down to Lesia Tsurenko. Vondrousova is back up to No. 81 in the world (that figure will rise to at least No. 82 regardless of Sunday’s result) despite playing just one tournament before Budapest in 2019 (a second round loss to Petra Martic at the Australian Open).

The pair have never met at tour-level before, but Vondrousova did win an ITF clash on clay in straight sets in 2017 - and I’m backing her to win again on Sunday. The Czech is a genuine star in the making, and when her game comes together (as it has this week), she’s very hard to stop. Van Uytvanck obviously loves the indoor conditions in Budapest, but she’s coming off a very tough match in the semi-finals, while Vondrousova was dominant and done in barely an hour. If the Czech plays her best tennis on Sunday, I think she comes away with a second WTA title.


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Van Uytvanck vs Vondrousova WTA Budapest live streaming, preview and tips - Van Uytvanck aims to defend Hungarian Ladies Open title against rising star Vondrousova

Alison Van Uytvanck is one win away from back-to-back Hungarian Ladies Open titles as she prepares to face rising teenage star Marketa Vondrousova in the final in Budapest on Sunday.

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