Timea Babos, Andrea Petkovic and Lucie Safarova are among the top WTA Tour players appearing at the first edition of the revamped Hungarian Ladies Open, live from Budapest from 20-26 February 2017.
Top-flight WTA Tour tennis returns to Hungary in 2017 as the indoor hard-court Hungarian Ladies Open, played in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, replaces the Rio Open on the calendar. Hungary’s own Timea Babos, the popular Andrea Petkovic and 2015 French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova are among the top players who will be appearing at the inaugural edition of the Hungarian Ladies Open when it begins on Monday 20 February.
WTA Budapest joins the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy and the Ladies Open Biel as European tournaments held in the early spring, bolstering the WTA Tour’s presence in Europe at this time of the year and giving top players looking to tune up their games ahead of the major spring hard-court events at Indian Wells and Miami the opportunity to do so in glittering European cities. The Hungarian Ladies Open welcomes some of the WTA Tour’s finest as they battle for prize money, ranking points and prestige on the indoor hard courts of Budapest.
The historic and beautiful Hungarian capital of Budapest was formerly home to a WTA Tour event played on clay in the summer, a tournament which included Zina Garrison, Amanda Coetzer, Magdalena Maleeva, Jelena Jankovic, Hungary’s own Agnes Szavay and Simona Halep among its champions. The tournament was relocated to Bucharest in Romania in 2014-15 and Budapest hosted an ITF $100,000 event in 2016 before re-acquiring the International-level WTA Tour event in 2017.
Former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova will be appearing at the inaugural Hungarian Ladies Open in 2017 (Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Hungary’s tradition of female tennis players includes Agnes Szavay, who won four WTA Tour singles titles, reached the quarterfinals of the US Open and was ranked as high as world no. 13, as well as top-50 players Melinda Czink and Greta Arn, now retired. In recent years, Timea Babos has been ranked as high as world no. 25 and is an accomplished player in both doubles and singles, while Dalma Galfi was the ITF World Junior Champion after winning the US Open girls’ singles in 2015.
Played on indoor hard courts at the BOK Event Hall, which has hosted Fed Cup ties and Challenger Tour events and is part of the SYMA Event and Congress Centre, the Hungarian Ladies Open features a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw and offers a prize money commitment of $226,750.
Leading the draw at the inaugural Hungarian Ladies Open when it begins on Monday 20 February will be Timea Babos, Hungary’s no. 1-ranked player. Currently ranked world no. 33 in singles, hard-hitting Babos has won one WTA Tour title (Monterrey in 2012) and finished runner-up at the WTA Tour event in Florianopolis in 2016, the same year she reached the semifinals of Shenzhen and Rabat, the fourth round of the Miami Open and the quarterfinals of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati with wins over the likes of Dominika Cibulkova and Karolina Pliskova over the course of the season. Babos is also an accomplished WTA Tour doubles player ranked inside the top 10, having made two Grand Slam doubles finals in her career and winning 11 titles, including one already under her belt for 2017 in Sydney with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Babos will be joined by fellow Hungarian Dalma Galfi, the 18-year-old looking to transition from a successful junior career – she won the junior US Open in 2015, finished runner-up at Wimbledon and was named ITF Junior World Champion – on to the WTA Tour where she has already attained a ranking of world no. 156.
Alongside home favourites Babos and Galfi, former top-10 player and 2015 French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova will be appearing, as will the popular Andrea Petkovic and her big-hitting compatriot Julia Goerges, when the inaugural Hungarian Ladies Open begins on Monday 20 February.
Watch and bet live on the 2017 Hungarian Ladies Open live from Budapest from 20-26 February 2017.
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