Currently ranked #93 in the world, Babos ran into the impenetrable Serena Williams early in the women’s singles event, falling to the world’s best women’s player 6-4, 6-1 in the second round. The early exit would prove to be a blessing in disguise for the hard-hitting Hungarian, as she had plenty of tennis still to play at London’s hallowed lawn courts.
It is in doubles where Babos particularly excels – she is currently ranked #8 in the world – and Wimbledon was her place to shine. Teamed with France’s Kristina Mladenovic – the two having lost in the 2014 Wimbledon women’s doubles final – the pair were seeded #4 and played deep into the tournament, not dropping a set until a hard-fought quarter-final.
The pair couldn’t match last year’s near-success in London though, as they fell in a tough 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 semi-final to Russia’s #2 seeded pair of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
The best was yet to come from the talented Babos, as she would make a run to the mixed doubles final with partner Alexander Peya from Austria. The pair really had to work, needing long three-setters in the third round, quarter-finals and semi-final. The quarter-final win over the #2 seeded Bruno Soares of Brazil and Sania Mirza of India was one to remember, as the Hungarian and her partner battled back from a set down to win 3-6, 7-6 (8), 9-7.
The impressive showing was topped in the next round as the pair won the semi-final with a heroic 4-6, 6-3, 11-9 victory over Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt and Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues. The two would run out of steam in the final though, falling to former world #1 – and winner of the women’s doubles title the day before – Switzerland’s Martina Hingis and her partner Leander Paes from India, 6-1, 6-1. Hingis, who retired from singles tennis 13 years ago, was recently in Budapest as the special guest for the Fed Cup tournament.
After Babos’ success in London, she is looking to improve on her previous performances at the US Open, where she has yet to advance past the first round in singles and the second round in doubles at the season’s final Grand Slam. Still, her promising performance in Great Britain has proven that she is primed and ready to make that next step. Congratulations Ms. Babos on a wonderful two weeks of tennis in London!
Long time coming: The last time a Hungarian won one of tennis’ four Grand Slams was back in 1986 when Andrea Temesvári teamed with legend Martina Navratilova to dominate the powerhouse duo of Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini 6-1, 6-2. Timea Babos has made it to the Grand Slam finals twice – last year in women’s doubles and this year in mixed doubles – both at Wimbledon’s famed lawn courts.