MIHÁLYI PETRA
2022.12.04 16:38

Tennis: Babos and Mladenovic to play together again

The last time Tímea Babos competed with Kristina Mladenovic was in 2020. For a long time, it seemed that after the French tennis player decided at the last minute not to play doubles at the Australian Open in 2021, they would never play together again. However, according to the preliminary entry list and Babos' mysterious social media posts, they will be back together next week at an ITF tournament in Dubai.

 

Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic could be back on the road to success together in Dubai (Photo: AFP)

Tímea Babos is already posting on social media from Dubai, where her mother accompanied her to the next event. Next week, Babos will play in an ITF Challenger tournament in the UAE city where organizers will pay for the players' accommodation and board in addition to the prize money of 100 000 USD.

The four-time Grand Slam doubles winner Hungarian uploaded the first photo on the popular photo-sharing platform on Thursday before the start of the tour. She wrote that this tour will be special, and from the comments, it seems that some fans with an eye for detail can guess what she meant. The 29-year-old is the first seed in the tournament's preliminary doubles draw with Kristina Mladenovic on her side. Babos has won all four of her majors with the French player, but at the start of 2021, the athlete of Serbian-Bosnian origin decided to focus on just singles.

Our most successful women's tennis player was hugely disappointed with her doubles partner for pulling out of the Australian Open doubles at the last minute, leaving her in the lurch just before the tournament and with no one to play. But the change of profile does not seem to have fulfilled Mladenovic's hopes, as she is outside the top 100 in the world rankings. However, she continues to perform well in doubles, winning the mixed doubles with Croatia's Ivan Dodig in Melbourne this year and lifting the Roland Garros women's doubles trophy with compatriot Caroline Garcia to the delight of the French public. And she is now ranked 18th in the world.

Tímea Babos found it much harder to find herself after the separation and her hiatus due to injury. Also, after the points she had retained from 2019 (the rankings were frozen due to the coronavirus) dropped, the former world number one slipped back significantly. By the end of the year, however, she had clawed her way back into the top 100, making it easier to find a good partner, and she and Kristina Mladenovic have apparently decided to give each other another chance.

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