WTA Finals 2015: an interview with Csaba Babos

WTA Finals 2015: an interview with Csaba Babos

19/10/2015 – Timi is the first Hungarian, who will play at the doubles tournament of the WTA year-ending Championships.


What do you think of Timi’s another big success?


– I would start a little earlier in the story. We are delighted that after thirty years a Hungarian player can play at the year-ending Championships! However, the joy is mixed with wormwood…I have received, We have received a lot of criticism these days, which were unfair. On Timi’s website, our friend András Bálint clearly wrote and described, that Timi is the first Hungarian player, who advanced to the year-ending WTA Finals in doubles. And the criticism sounded that she is not the first Hungarian … Yes, she is not the first Hungarian player, but. The first Hungarian female player, who will start in doubles at the WTA Finals. We said that int he official statement. I think that these kind of criticisms imply malice, rather than constructive. They do not suggest that these people would be very happy that We again had someone, who will represent Hungary at th ebig, year-ending tournament.


– What kind of level had Timi in singles, when she began her doubles „career”?


– We came from Sopron, Timi started to play tennis, there. And there was a tradition of playing doubles. From an early age, We finished most of the training with doubles. We had some kind of bets, We played to avoid the cleaning of the court, for push-ups. We had very, very hard battles! From early ages, Timi had a very good doubles partner, Réka Jani, who also belonged to my team, and I trained her for a long time. They formed a very good duo. Later they became very successful. Timi barely started to play tennis, and immediately showed her talent.


– Timi was very successful at the early years in junior events. What was the key, in which area was she better, then her contemporaries?


– Unfortunately, I’m not good at recalling the events of the past, but rather I take care of the future. The past interests Me less. She was 13 or 14 year old, when she won her first ITF-title in Budapest with Réka Jani. Obviously, this was not a coincidence, because as I said, we played a lot of doubles. She had a very, very good reflex, she felt „home” at the net. These characteristics stood out very early. They were the ones that made her a succesful doubles player.


– As a junior and later as adults she regularly changed her partners. What are the benefits of these kind of changes and what was the most difficult part of it?


– She had difficulties, because she always had to adapt to the mentality, to the technique, and for the favorite playing style of the new partner. However, it was obviously an advantage, because Timi learned to do things that may have not learned along side of a constant companion. She played on forehand side, she played on backhand side. She played alongside of a player, who was very stable from the baseline, but did not want to come to the net. She played in addition with a player, who hit the ball with great power, but quickly spoiled the rally. Over the years, she got a kind of knowledge, which made it possible to reach the highest levels in the future.


– What kind of human qualities necessary to be a good doubles player?


– Obviously, adaptability, a sense of openness, empathy, enduring the weaknesses of the partner, enduring the various negative reactions of the enduring. This is obviously not an easy thing. In singles you may go on your own road, you’re doing your job. In doubles the two player must have move on the same wavelength. Obviously not always Timi was the better player, sometimes she played poorly and the partner helped her. At other times, Timi the better player ont he court and she helped her partner. This is a team effort, that’s why the doubles is good. I think, maybe the two best doubles player can start together, they will be unsuccessful, if they had no unity, at least at the court. It’s necessary, that you are also happy with your companions’s success. You will not be successful without these properties.


– Was it an advantage at the beginning of the WTA career, that Timi was so successful as a junior and at the ITF Pro Circuit?


– I did not perceive the benefits of this. Maybe they know her name, maybe the youngest players know her personally. But older players didn’t know her, for sure. The ITF Pro Circuit is a different café, then the WTA Tour, as We say. The newcomers didn’t got a great welcome, they didn’t accept them with open arms. They watch the newcomers carefully: she belongs to Us, or she not belong to Us…


– Was it an advantage at the beginning of the WTA career, that Timi was so successful as a junior and at the ITF Pro Circuit with a lot of partners?


– There’s an affectionate welcome… The players fight not only for the ranking points, but fight for huge money. It’s a very professional sport. There are not great friendships between the players. No, it was not easy in the beginning to find partners. Timi was not a well-known player. Mostly, she had to play with those players, who had no constant partners. She was forced to play with them, for sure, she might had choose better partners, compared to her level of expertise. It seems that she was lucky because she played with a partner, with whom whom she could be successful. After the first tournament titles, came the new new requests. This process continues to this day. Everyone is trying to seek the most appropriate partner. I hope that this pair will stay together for a long time and you do not have to think about who should be the next companion for Timi.


– What is necessary for Timi and Kristina, to be celebrate another great successes, after the great triumphs of the past?


– I see this situation a bit differently. Their doubles career is still at the beginning stage. The fact that the were celebrate a great success, a Wimbledon final after one month together, after few matches, shows, that they had a chance to be a very successful team int he future. Together! But, as long as they does not win the doubles Grand Slam, we can not talk about the success. Because they need to win! If they will play together for a long time, then there is no such a God, that they do not win together a Grand Slam. Last year they were finalist, this year they were semifinalist at Wimbledon. Int he 2015 season they won two Premier events, they won against World No1’s. One thing is important, they must play well at the most important matches. So far, at the most important matches, the two player had ups and downs. They could not not play a whole match at a high level.


– In which area Timi has changed in recent years in doubles?


As much, as she changed as a person. She plays better in singles, and she plays better in doubles, with that difference. She improved physically, and it has the positive impact in doubles. As much as the technique has evolved, so it has increased the number of successes. She became better player tactically, it helps her to defeat easier th ebest pairs of the world. She developed in every field, and she has changed in every field. If you just look at the her returns, or her baseline performance, she can play much more stable. I think the net play was not a trouble, for years. I said already, that she is in the top5 with the volley-playing, maybe now she is int he top3. She made the life hard for her opponent’s with this kind of performance at the net. I hope, it will remain so int he future. And I hope, there’s is a big room for improvement. Not only in singles, but also in doubles. I can only say, in my prophecy, there is a kind of doubles ranking position, which will be unbeatable for a Hungarian player.