17/05/2015 – The all-WTA Rising Star team of Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic surprised Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza to capture the Internazionali BNL d’Italia doubles title.
The all-WTA Rising Star pair of Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic pulled off the biggest surprise of the week at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Sunday morning, outslugging Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza – the No.1 team in the world – to win their third WTA doubles title of the year.
The No.3-seeded Babos and Mladenovic drew first blood by breaking Mirza in the fifth game of the match, a break they rode to the first set, 6-4. And they reeled off four games in a row from 2-3 in the second set to close out the No.1-seeded Swiss-Indian duo in an hour and 12 minutes, 6-4, 6-3.
“In all of our previous matches we played really good teams, and it was another tough one today, of course,” Mladenovic said. “We played them in Miami and it was a close match there with opportunities, but we didn’t play our best there, which was a little frustrating. So we wanted to do better today.”
Babos and Mladenovic, who lost that Miami encounter with Hingis and Mirza in straight sets, now have three WTA doubles titles together, all of them coming this year – Dubai, Marrakech and now Rome.
“We’ve had big goals for a while now. We started playing together last year and had some big results,” Babos said. “But this year it’s even better. We took three titles already. We’re playing well, we’re really starting to feel each other’s game on the court, and we’re having more fun on the court, too.”
They also both celebrated birthdays over the last week – Babos last Sunday, Mladenovic Thursday.
“We’re getting older, too,” Babos added. “I think we’re doing better with more experience!”
“We’re different than the other teams in that way,” Mladenovic said. “We’re the same age and we’ve known each other for a long time – we were born just four days apart. And Timi is my best friend – we spend a lot of time together off the court, and we also complement each other’s game very well.”
The two WTA Rising Stars might get a chance to celebrate all of those things together on the plane, even though they’re travelling to two different tournaments now – how does that work now?
“I’m going to Strasbourg and she’s going to Nürnberg, but we’re both flying to Stuttgart,” Mladenovic said. “All flights to Paris were full so I’m going to Stuttgart, because it’s not far from Strasbourg, and they’re going to come and pick me up to drive there, and they’ll come to pick her up there too.
“Maybe we’ll have an ice cream or a gelato on the flight together!” (www.wtatennis.com)
Both teams will make big moves up the Road To Singapore doubles leaderboard by virtue of this week’s results, Hingis and Mirza rising from No.2 to No.1 and Babos and Mladenovic No.4 to No.3.