Tímea Babos (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈtiːmɛɒ ˈbɒboʃ]; born 10 May 1993) is a Hungarian professional tennis player. She has a career-high Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles ranking of world No. 25. She gained world No. 1 in the doubles rankings, becoming the first Hungarian player to reach the top of the WTA rankings in either singles or doubles. She has won three singles and 24 doubles titles on the WTA Tour, as well as one singles and one doubles WTA 125K series title, and twelve singles and nine doubles titles on the ITF Circuit.
|Born||10 May 1993|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career record||339–262 (56.4%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 25 (19 September 2016)|
|Current ranking||No. 108 (22 March 2021)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2016, 2018, 2019, 2021)|
|French Open||2R (2016)|
|Wimbledon||2R (2012, 2015, 2016)|
|US Open||3R (2016)|
|Career record||349–148 (70.2%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (16 July 2018)|
|Current ranking||No. 5 (22 March 2021)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (2018, 2020)|
|French Open||W (2019, 2020)|
|Wimbledon||F (2014, 2016)|
|US Open||F (2018)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Tour Finals||W (2017, 2018, 2019)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|Australian Open||F (2018)|
|French Open||SF (2014)|
|US Open||QF (2017)|
|Last updated on: 22 March 2021.|
Babos made significant results as junior. She won all of her three Grand Slam junior doubles titles in 2010, the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, partnering at all of them with Sloane Stephens. An accomplished junior player, Babos's greatest success has come in senior doubles, winning the 2018 Australian Open, the 2019 and 2020 French Open and the 2020 Australian Open, and having reached the women's doubles final of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships and 2018 US Open with Kristina Mladenovic of France and the 2016 Wimbledon Championships with Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, and the mixed doubles final of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships with Alexander Peya of Austria and the 2018 Australian Open with Rohan Bopanna of India.
Early life and backgroundEdit
Tímea Babos was born on 10 May 1993 to mother Zsuzsanna and father Csaba in Sopron, Hungary. She has an older sister. Coming from a sporty family, Babos decided to follow her family tradition. Her father is a coach at the tennis club her family owns in Sopron, while her mother is a housewife. Her sister was also a very good player and won NCAA titles when studying at Berkley in the United States. She was originally a swimmer and was national champion in Hungary, but during that time she looked differently at swimming, finding it quite boring and as hard work, so she started to come with her sister to tennis practice at the age of 8. Originally, she started playing tennis just for fun, but then her dad saw her talent, so she started to concentrate more on it and eventually stopped swimming.
She loved watching her sister's work-outs with their Dad, when she was eight and her sister 16, so her parents signed her up for a class at a local club and after a few months, she was accepted into local events. Her break-through came at the age of nine, where after leading the u12 club team to four qualification round victories, she qualified for the u12 National Championships. A few weeks later, she won her first Hungarian National Championship title. At 15, she travelled to the United Kingdom to practice owing to her homeland's lack of sufficient facilities. One of the opportunities was practice on hardcourts; her country mostly has clay courts. Two years after her arrival in England, she got a good sponsorship deal, which meant she could return and train in Budapest.
Babos reached a career-high ranking of No. 2 as a junior. She began competing on the ITF Junior Circuit in September 2006 at the age of 13, winning the title in her debut event in doubles event at the lowest-level Grade 5 Talentum Cup in homeland Hungary. There she also made her singles debut, but lost in the second round. By the end of the year, she didn't play at any tournament. But she then continued her success in doubles, winning the following tournament, the Grade-5 Mostar Open in April 2007. In the second half of the year, she won Grade-3 Budaörs Cup and then Grade 2 TrueVisions Thailand Open, both in doubles.
The following year, she made a progress, reaching the semifinal in singles and final in doubles event at the Grade-1 Barranquilla Junior Tennis Tournament Country Club. In March, she made a step further, reaching her first Grade-1 singles final and doubles title at the Mitsubishi-Lancer International Juniors Championships. Babos then made her Grand Slam debut at the junior 2008 French Open, reaching the second round in both singles and doubles. At Wimbledon, she lost in the first round, but made it to the quarterfinals in doubles. In August, she played at the Canadian Open Junior Championships, reaching quarterfinals in singles and final in doubles. On her debut at the US Open, she reached only the first round in singles and second round in doubles. At her last tournament of the 2008 season, she reached singles quarterfinals and title in doubles at the Grade-A Osaka Mayor's Cup.
Babos started to produce strong results at the junior Grand Slam and other Grade-A and Grade-1 events in 2009. She started year with great performances at the Grade-1 tournaments. She won both singles and doubles title at the Copa Gatorade in January and at the Sarawak Chief Minister's Cup in March. At the same grade, she won the Japan Open Junior Championships in singles, while in doubles she finished as runner–up. At the 2009 French Open, she managed to get to her first Grand Slam final in doubles event. Partnering with Heather Watson, they lost to Elena Bogdan and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn after a tough final match, played in three sets. Things were opposite at Wimbledon, where she raeched her first Grand Slam singles semifinal, but failed in the second round in doubles. Later, Babos left her mark at the Grade A Osaka Mayor's Cup, winning doubles event and finished as runner–up in singles. She finished 2009 season, with singles second round and quarterfinal in doubles at the Orange Bowl.
Babos had a strong start of next season, winning her first singles tournament of the year, the Grade-1 Loy Yang Traralgon International. She followed this with singles quarterfinal and final in doubles at the Australian Open. First Grand Slam for Babos came at the French Open in doubles event, defeating Lara Arruabarrena and María Teresa Torró Flor alongside Sloane Stephens in the final, and not dropping a singles set in the entire tournament. Babos then alongside Stephens won another Grand Slam title, defeating Irina Khromacheva and Elina Svitolina in the final of Wimbledon. Babos did not stop with success, winning then US Open, again with Stephens, after walkover by An-Sophie Mestach and Silvia Njirić in the final. That also was her last singles and doubles junior tournament.
2009–11: Success in early ITF eventsEdit
Despite still playing at the ITF Junior Circuit, Babos began competing on the ITF Women's Circuit in 2009 at the age of 15, reaching the final in her debut event at a $10K tournament in Bournemouth. The following week, she played on another $10K event in the United Kingdom, and won her first ITF title. Babos continued winning one and losing two $10K finals, by the end of the 2009 season. She had a strong start in doubles too, winning one of two finals that she reached on the ITF Circuit.
She started 2010 with mixed results, but her first improvement was at a $25K event in Budapest where she reached her first final in that category, but finished as runner–up. In early July, she made her WTA Tour debut at the Hungarian Open as a wildcard player, but lost to Timea Bacsinszky in the first round. The following week, she won her first $25K title in Woking. Despite the fact she still didn't make her WTA Tour debut in doubles, Babos won four $25K events, two of them in Australia and one in the United Kingdom and in New Zealand.
At the Hungarian Open in July 2011, Babos realized her first WTA match-win, defeating Anna-Giulia Remondina, but lost in the next round to Roberta Vinci. There, she also made her doubles debut, partnering with Katalin Marosi, but she lost her first WTA Tour doubles match. Her first Grand Slam appearance was at the US Open; she failed to reached the main-draw, losing in the qualification. In late October, she won her first $50K event in both singles and doubles at the Challenger de Saguenay. She reached another $50K final in doubles, and also reached semifinals in singles.
2012–13: First singles and doubles WTA titleEdit
Babos had strong start of the 2012 season. At the first tournament of the year, she finished runner–up at the Blossum Cup in Quanzhou, losing there to Kimiko Date. At the Australian Open, she failed to reached her first main draw. A month later, she reached her first WTA Tour singles semifinal at the Copa Colsanitas. She won against one qualifier, wildcard and seeded player, before she lost in the semifinal to Alexandra Panova. She reached her first WTA Tour singles final at the Monterrey Open, and won the title. These good results helped Babos rise from No. 107 to 68 in the following WTA rankings to make her top-100 debut. Babos continued with improvement, making her first Grand Slam debut at the French Open, where she lost to Sesil Karatantcheva in the first round. At Wimbledon, she recorded her first Grand Slam win, defeating wildcard player Melanie Oudin, but lost in the next round to the experienced Russian player and 20th seed Nadia Petrova. In early August, she made her Premier 5/Premier Mandatory debut at the Canadian Open, reaching the main-draw through qualification, and then the following week, she recorded her first Premier/Premier Mandatory win at the Cincinnati Open. In 2013, as her highlights in singles, she reached only three quarterfinals at the International-level Brasil Tennis Cup, the Monterrey Open and Hungarian Open. She also finished runner–up at the $75K event Viccourt Cup in Donetsk, and won the $50K Soweto Open in Johannesburg.
In the first half of 2012, Babos reached three International-level semifinals. First, she reached the semifinal of the Copa Colsanitas alongside Valeria Savinykh, followed by the semifinal of the Morocco Open alongside Mandy Minella, and finally that of the Internationaux de Strasbourg alongside Hsieh Su-wei. She then won her first WTA Tour doubles title at the Birmingham Classic alongside Hsieh, defeating Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond in three sets. This year, Babos also made her Grand Slam debut at the French Open, at the same time she debuted in singles as well. She partnered with Hsieh, and they were eliminated by Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the second round. In 2013, Babos made more progress in doubles than in singles. Unlike failing to win the title in singles, she won four International titles in doubles. First she won Copa Colsanitas in February, partnering with Mandy Minella. She then won the Monterrey Open in April alongside Kimiko Date. Later in April, she won the Morocco Open, again with Minella, and finally, in early September, the Tashkent Open, alongside Yaroslava Shvedova.
2014–15: First Grand Slam final, debut at the WTA Finals, top 10Edit
Babos continued with modest results in singles on the WTA Tour, falling mostly in the first round. Success she had on the ITF Circuit, where she won the $75K Kangaroo Cup in Gifu, and then the $100K Internationaux de la Vienne in Poitiers. In doubles, she had a strong start, winning at the Premier-level Sydney International, her second doubles title of the year. She reached another Premier final at the Open GdF Suez, but ended runner-up alongside Kristina Mladenovic. After a few non-significant results, she reached the final at the Monterrey Open but lost in the final. Two weeks later, she won the Malaysian Open alongside Chan Hao-ching. In late June, Babos made big improvement, reaching her first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon alongside Mladenovic. They lost to Italian former champions, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. With this result, Babos advanced to the top 30. Again with Mladenovic, she reached the final at the Cincinnati Open, but they lost after the retirement.
In the first half of the 2015 season, Babos continued to struggle with her singles results. She then reached the final at the Morocco Open, losing to Elina Svitolina. By the end of the year, she reached only one quarterfinal at the Tianjin Open, losing to Karolína Plíšková. In doubles, she realized her first title of the year at the Premier 5 Dubai Championships, with Mladenovic. In late March, she reached the semifinals at the Miami Open. Clay-court season was successful for Babos, winning title at the Morocco Open, and later another Premier 5 title at the Italian Open. Grass-court season started well, with the semifinal at the Rosmalen Championships and the quarterfinal of the Birmingham Classic. At Wimbledon, she failed to repeat last year result, this time finishing alongside Mladenovic one round earlier, losing in the semifinals. She also reached the mixed-doubles final alongside Alexander Peya, but they lost to Martina Hingis/Leander Paes. After that, she reached the quarterfinals at the Cincinnati Open and China Open. At the end of the year, Babos debuted at the WTA Finals, where she alongside Mladenovic failed to pass the round-robin group.
2016: Top 30 in singles, Wimbledon final in doublesEdit
After years of weak singles performance, Babos started with good results again. At the opening week, she reached the semifinal where she lost to Alison Riske. Followed by second round of the Australian Open, quarterfinal of the St. Petersburg Trophy and third round of the Premier 5 Qatar Open. At the Miami Open, she reached the round of 16 for the first time at some Premier 5/Premier Mandatory tournament, missing her chance to reach the quarterfinal, lossing to Angelique Kerber. She continued, reaching the quarterfinal at the Katowice Open and semifinal at the Morocco Open. At the Italian Open, she beat Venus Williams in the second round, but later lost to Madison Keys. In early August, she reached the final of the Brasil Cup, but lost to Irina-Camelia Begu. She then reached her first Premier 5 quarterfinal at the Cincinnati Open, losing there to fourth seed Garbiñe Muguruza. At the US Open, she reached third round for the first time at Grand Slam event in singles, but then was defeated by seed Simona Halep. So she made her debut in the top 30, and in the following week, she got to a career-high singles ranking of 25. In her last two singles tournaments, Babos reached the quarterfinal at the Kremlin Cup and then qualified for the first time for the year-end WTA Elite Trophy. However, she lost in her round-robin group to Bacsinszky and Zhang Shuai.
The season also was successful in doubles. In the United States, Babos reached the semifinals at the Premier Mandatory Indian Wells Open, followed with the final at the same-category Miami Open, where she ended runner-up. In July, she reached another Grand Slam final at Wimbledon. This time partnering with Shvedova, she lost to Serena and Venus Williams. At Premier 5 tournaments, she also did quite well, reaching quarterfinals at four out of five tournaments. For the second time in a row, she qualified for the WTA Finals. Format of competition had changed, having eliminated round-robin group at first. Babos alongside Shvedova lost in the first round to Lucie Šafářová and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. It was her first season without a doubles title since 2012.
2017: WTA Finals titleEdit
This was first season when Babos reached more than one singles final. In her homeland, she played at the Hungarian Open, where she defeated Lucie Šafářová in the final and marked her second career-singles title. In September, she reached another two international-level finals at the Tournoi de Québec and Tashkent Open, but failed to win the title at both of them. During the year, she reached only one quarterfinal at the Monterrey Open, where she lost to seed No. 2 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Despite the fact she reached three singles finals, she dropped in her ranking, starting year inside top 30, but then finished outside the top 50.
In doubles, Babos continued to progress. She reached two new Premier Mandatory finals, at the Madrid Open and China Open, but these were her others unsuccessful attempts to win her first title in that category. At Wimbledon she failed to reached her previous-year result, losing in the third round, but then she get into the quarterfinal at the US Open. Before the end of the year, she won three international-level tournament, as well Premier-level tournaments Sydney International and Kremlin Cup. Once again, she qualified for the WTA Finals, but this time she done well there. Together with Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková, they won the title, defeating Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson in the final.
2018: Grand Slam title, world No. 1 in doublesEdit
Babos continued with reaching finals in singles. In late January, after the Australian Open where she recorded top 10 win against CoCo Vandeweghe in the first round, Babos went to the Taipei, Taiwan to play at the Taiwan Open. There she won her third singles title, defeating Kateryna Kozlova in the final. Later, in April, she reached another hardcourt singles final at the Monterrey Open, but this time lost to top seed Garbiñe Muguruza. During the year, she also reached one quarterfinal at the international-level Shenzhen Open in the first week of the year.
Despite the fact she left her mark in singles, more success came in doubles. Babos continued with good results, but this time she made even more remarkable results. At the Australian Open, she won her first Grand Slam title, partnering with Kristina Mladenovic. They defeated Russian duo Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. She also reached the Mixed Doubles final alongside Rohan Bopanna; they lost to Gabriela Dabrowski/Mate Pavić in the final. Things continued on the right track, reaching a Premier Mandatory semifinal at the Indian Wells Open and then final of the Madrid Open from the same category. She followed this win quarterfinals of the Italian Open and French Open, before she won title at the Premier-level Birmignam Classic. After the loss in quarterfinal of Wimbledon, Babos became world No. 1 doubles player on the July 16. She then continued with two new quarterfinals, at the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Open, before she reached another Grand Slam final at the US Open. Unlike at the Australian Open, this time Babos and Mladenovic, failed to win another Grand Slam title, losing to Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe. Later, another two quarterfinals at the Wuhan Open and China Open, before she participated at the WTA Finals. For the second time in a row, Babos won the WTA Finals title, but this time with Mladenovic.
2019–20: Three Grand Slam doubles titlesEdit
While struggling to do well in singles during 2019 and 2020, Babos shined in doubles. At the begging of 2019 season, Babos alongside Mladenovic reached her first final at the Australian Open, but they lost from Ashleigh Barty and Zhang Shuai in the straight-sets. In April 2019, she and Mladenovic won the Istanbul Cup, losing only one game in the final match against Alexa Guarachi and Sabrina Santamaria. Another Grand Slam final they reached at the French Open. This time, they beat Chinese players Duan Yingying and Zheng Saisai. Followed by a Wimbledon semifinal, again partnering with Mladenovic. At the US Open, she reached her first doubles quarterfinal there, thus completing quarterfinals at all four Grand Slams in the same year. Before she qualified for the WTA Finals, she got to the quarterfinal at the China Open and semifinal at the Kremlin Cup. For the first time since 2015, WTA Finals brough back round-robin group. Babos and Mladenovic won all three matches in the round-robin group, as well as the semifinal and final. It was the third title for Babos, and the second alongside Mladenovic.
Babos continued playing well in 2020. At her first tournament, the Australian Open, she won her third Grand Slam title, all with Mladenovic. They beat Barbora Strýcová and Hsieh Su-wei in the final, and did not drop a single set during the whole tournament. In late February, she and Mladenovic missed the chance to reach another final, losing to Gabriela Dabrowski and Jeļena Ostapenko in three sets in the semifinal of the Qatar Open. Then, after six months of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Babos competed at the US Open. Babos and Mladenovic continued the good performances, winning their first-round match, before being disqualified from the tournament due to Mladenovic's contact with French player Benoît Paire who had been tested positive for COVID-19. However, that did not stop them to defend their title at the French Open, defeating Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk in the final.
Babos resides in her birthtown Sopron in Hungary. Her nickname on tour is 'Babosdook', given to her by doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic as she is a big fan of horror films. The nickname is a reference to the film The Babadook. Tímea Babos has become the first Hungarian female tennis player to reach the world number one spot. She enjoyed watching Elena Dementieva growing up. Her complaint stated:
I really liked her style of play and, although she never won a Grand Slam, she was always at or near the top and also won the Olympics. She didn’t seem arrogant and was always nice to the junior players at Grand Slams. Despite being so successful she seemed to be a nice person. — Babos, on Dementieva
Babos has aggressive style of play with a good mix of shots. During time she developed her game and now she is capable of throwing some nice variations with slices and drop-shots, as well as using her doubles skills to take the net often, trying to reach winners as much as possible. Her father taught her not to be aggressive player nor defensive but neutral one, where she can hit slice and drop shots sometimes. Because of her height and power, her biggest strength is her serve, which really helps when she is playing on faster courts like grass or indoor hard. She grew up playing on clay.
Tímea Babos has a plenty of sponsors. She has taken part in the MOL Talent Support Programme since 2008, and then in 2011, she became a participant in the MOL professional sponsorship programme. She uses VCORE-98 Racquet by Yonex. In 2016, she signed Sponsorship Agreement with Fila, previously having endorsement deals with Adidas and K-Swiss, that did not last long. Among her other sponsors, there are Samsung, Swedish drink brand "Vitamin Well", Hungarian company Cardo and Finish brand Ice Power.
Grand Slam tournament performance timelineEdit
|Australian Open||A||Q2||1R||1R||1R||2R||1R||2R||2R||1R||2R||0 / 9||4–9||31%|
|French Open||A||1R||Q2||Q3||1R||2R||1R||1R||1R||1R||0 / 7||1–7||13%|
|Wimbledon||A||2R||1R||1R||2R||2R||1R||1R||Q1||NH||0 / 7||3–7||30%|
|US Open||Q1||1R||1R||1R||1R||3R||2R||1R||2R||1R||0 / 9||4–9||31%|
|Win–Loss||0–0||1–3||0–3||0–3||1–4||5–4||1–4||1–4||2–3||0–3||1–1||0 / 32||12–32||27%|
|Australian Open||A||A||1R||3R||2R||2R||3R||W||F||W||A||2 / 8||23–6||79%|
|French Open||A||2R||1R||1R||2R||3R||2R||QF||W||W||2 / 9||20–7||74%|
|Wimbledon||A||1R||1R||F||SF||F||3R||QF||SF||NH||0 / 8||22–8||73%|
|US Open||A||1R||2R||1R||3R||3R||QF||F||QF||2R†||0 / 9||17–8||68%|
|Win–Loss||0–0||1–3||1–4||7–4||8–4||10–4||8–4||17–3||17–3||13–0||0–0||4 / 34||82–29||74%|
|WTA Finals||A||A||A||A||RR||QF||W||W||W||NH||3 / 5||12–3||80%|
- † Babos and Mladenovic were forced to withdraw before second-round match due to COVID-related precautions for Kristina Mladenovic.
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Doubles: 8 (4 titles, 4 runner–ups)Edit
|Loss||2014||Wimbledon||Grass||Kristina Mladenovic|| Sara Errani
|Loss||2016||Wimbledon||Grass||Yaroslava Shvedova|| Serena Williams
|Win||2018||Australian Open||Hard||Kristina Mladenovic|| Ekaterina Makarova
|Loss||2018||US Open||Hard||Kristina Mladenovic|| Ashleigh Barty
|6–3, 6–7(2–7), 6–7(6–8)|
|Loss||2019||Australian Open||Hard||Kristina Mladenovic|| Samantha Stosur
|Win||2019||French Open||Clay||Kristina Mladenovic|| Duan Yingying
|Win||2020||Australian Open (2)||Hard||Kristina Mladenovic|| Hsieh Su-wei
|Win||2020||French Open||Clay||Kristina Mladenovic|| Alexa Guarachi
Mixed doubles: 2 (2 runner–ups)Edit
|Loss||2015||Wimbledon||Grass||Alexander Peya|| Leander Paes
|Loss||2018||Australian Open||Hard||Rohan Bopanna|| Gabriela Dabrowski
|6–2, 4–6, [9–11]|
Doubles: 3 (3 titles)Edit
|Win||2017||WTA Finals, Singapore||Hard (i)||Andrea Hlaváčková|| Kiki Bertens
|4–6, 6–4, [10–5]|
|Win||2018||WTA Finals, Singapore (2)||Hard (i)||Kristina Mladenovic|| Barbora Krejčíková
|Win||2019||WTA Finals, Shenzhen (3)||Hard (i)||Kristina Mladenovic|| Hsieh Su-wei
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