31 May 2013

Spotlight - Agnes Bukta - April 2013


By Nick Fishpool

April 2013


The middle two weeks of the month saw 19-year-old Hungarian, Agnes Bukta, competing in Croatia in two outdoor clay court tournaments on the ITF Pro Circuit and the teenager is our featured player for April.

The first of these tournaments was staged in Bol on the island of Brac.

Bukta as an unseeded player in the draw found herself up against a fellow Hungarian in the first round when drawn to face the fourth seed Vanda Lukacs.

After two close sets it was Bukta who moved into round two with a 63 64 win, a triumph which she then built upon with a 64 61 defeat of Montenegrin qualifier Vladica Babic to reach the quarterfinal.

For a place in the semifinal Bukta faced her second seeded opponent of the week in Slovakia’s Karin Morgosova, who was seeded eighth. The opening set saw Bukta drop just two games but in a closer second set she conceded four games to win through 62 64.

A place in the final, the second of her career following her title win in Antalya in November 2012, soon followed as she reversed the set scores of her quarterfinal victory to win 64 62 over Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic, a fellow non-seeded player.

In a final between two unseeded players, American Bernarda Pera claimed the first set 75 but Bukta quickly levelled the match dropping only two games in the second set.

A decisive final set was as closely contested as the opening set and it was Bukta who took the set 75 and with it the title.

Bukta had also taken to the courts in the doubles event in Bol where she was named the fourth seed with first time partner Polona Rebersak of Slovenia.

The pair dropped only five games in the opening rounds before being eliminated 62 61 by the second seeds, and eventual champions, Barbora Krejcikova and Polina Leykina.

Next up was a trip to the Croatian town of Sibenik.

Bukta was again unseeded in singles and fourth seed in doubles with Rebersak. In doubles a 75 64 defeat saw an early elimination for the pair and in the singles event Bukta was to be made to fight hard for her victories.

The opening round of singles action saw her post a 63 26 60 win over Alice Savoretti of Italy and in each of the subsequent rounds Bukta found herself having to recover from a set down to earn her wins. This included a second round defeat of the number one seed from France, Estelle Guisard, where having lost the first set on a close tiebreak, Bukta then raced to victory winning the next two sets 62 60.

A tough semifinal was expected as she came up against her opponent from the Bol final, Bernarda Pera. In that final, Bukta required three sets to earn the victory and the same was to be the case in this meeting between the two players. Bukta triumphed 75 57 63 to win a fourth straight three set match in Sibenik and fifth in less than a week if you count the Bol final.

Another familiar face from the Bol tournament was across the net from Bukta in the title match; Barbora Krejcikova who had eliminated Bukta from the doubles event last week but who Bukta had seen off in the singles semifinal.

This final saw Bukta take a break from three setters as she secured a second title in seven days with a 63 62 victory and maintain her 100 per cent record in singles finals. She now has three titles from three career finals in singles play.

Ranking points earned from these two tournaments enabled Bukta to climb the rankings ladder to a new career high WTA singles ranking of 464. Bukta is now the sixth highest ranked Hungarian woman on the WTA rankings.