18/02/2015 – Timi and Kristina Mladenovic lost only three games in two sets against Fatma Al Nabhani and Mona Barthel.
The match lasted 45 minutes. The Hungarian-French double’s next opponent will be the duo of Monica Niculescu and Alexandra Panova.
|DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS (2 513 000 USD, HARD COURT), DOUBLES, 2ND ROUND|
|Timea Babos, Kristina Mladenovic (Hungarian, French, 8)-Fatma Al Nabhani, Mona Barthel (Omanese, German) 6:1, 6:2|
The 8th seed Hungarian-French has not really excelled in the first round, they had difficult moments against Jurak and Kalashnikova. The second round looked a bit easier, and the last year’s Wimbledon finalists confirmed the odds confidently.
In the 20-minute first set, Timi and Mladenovic quickly jumped to a 4:0 lead, they broke the rival to 0 and 30. Then the rival won a game, but after 5:1 the 8th seed won again the opponent’s service game, this time to 40.
The second set was not much closer. Timi and Mladenovic broke immediately, and they led 3:0. Then Al Nabhani and Barthel won two service game, but after 5:2 the Hungarian-French duo broke to 0.
Timi and Mladenovic lost only one point after the first serves, and eight rally after the second serves. They hit 7 aces (and 3 double faults), the rival had no break point.
The Hungarian-French double’s next opponent will be the duo of Monica Niculescu and Alexandra Panova.
The 27-year old Niculescu is ranked 48th in the world ranking in doubles, her career best was 24 (7 June 2010). During her career, she has won 4 WTA and 21 ITF tournament in this genre. She was quarterfinalist at the Australian Open (2012) and Roland Garros (2010).
Last season Niculescu was tournament winner in Shenzhen (China, 500,000 USD, hard court, Co: Klara Koukalova) and Hobart (Australia, 250,000 USD, hard court, Co: Koukalova) and reached the final in Katowice (Poland, 250,000 USD, indoor, Co: Koukalova). This year was a finalist again in Hobart (Co: Vitalia Diatchenko).
The 25-year-old Panova is ranked 46th place in doubles, her best position was 42 (15 April 2013). Throughout her career she has won 4 WTA and 13 ITF titles in this genre. Last year, she remained unbeaten in Baku (Azerbaijan, 250,000 USD, hard courts, Co: Heather Watson).