Tennis Prose



Biofile Timea Babos Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: WTA current no. 143 in singles and 20 in doubles. Won four Grand Slam doubles titles: 2018, 2020 AO; 2019, 2020 Roland Garros. First Hungarian-born player to reach the No. 1 ranking in WTA singles or doubles (July 2018). Best singles ranking was 25. Also won the WTA Finals doubles three times in 2017, 2018, 2019.

DOB: May 10, 1993 In: Sopron, Hungary

First memory of tennis: Being about two-and-a-half years old and watching my older sister (Zsuzsanna) train with my dad on the courts. 

Last book read: I love reading, so the list of favorite books would be long. Last time I read a Hungarian title actually. 

First famous player you met or encountered: Elena Dementieva. 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 (2008). 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.

Greatest moment of your career: First Grand Slam win (2018 AO with Mladenovic def. Makarova/Vesnina 64 63)… winning the WTA event in Budapest (def. Safarova in the 2017 final).

Most painful moment of career: Losing the US Open doubles finals after holding several match points (63 67 67 vs Vandeweghe/Barty).

Favorite tournaments: WTA Championships in Singapore, Australian Open.

Funniest players encountered: Monfils, Pavlyuchenkova … and me of course.

Fiercest competitors encountered: Serena and Muguruza.

Closest friends in tennis: Reka Jani, Kiki Mladenovic.

Best match played: Beating Venus in Rome a few years ago (2R 67 75 64 in 2016) … on my favorite ever tennis court in the world.

Strangest match: 60 67 60… don’t even ask…

Favorite sport outside tennis: I like all sports, water polo, handball are among my favorites though.

Favorite artists: Hungarian band called Halott Pénz, where the lead singer used to play competitive tennis actually.

Favorite movies: Pretty Woman, LOTR, Gladiator.

Favorite ice cream flavor: Dark chocolate hazelnut.

Why do you love tennis: I am very competitive, I love any sport that’s played with a ball, I get to see the world and meet new people. I wake up with the sound of a tennis ball bouncing, I go to bed dreaming of fierce matches. Tennis is not my job, it’s my passion. 

People qualities most admired: Work-ethic, belief, respect … which nowadays seems to have died out sadly.

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  • catherine · November 28, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Famous names, pop stars, boxers, you name it, have appeared at the Albert Hall but no one fills it now the way Emma did.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 28, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Catherine, Emma is the biggest miracle in the history of tennis. Fed, Serena, Laver, Pete, Rafa, could not do what Emma did, win a GS title in only her second GS, as a virtually unknown 18 year old with just a handlful of wta matches under her belt. She is the most intriguing, fascinating figure in the sport today. On top of that she’s a wonderfully well spoken, well mannered and very pretty young lady. She is a Godsend for the sport just when it needed her most and she delivered in style none of us or anyone who was lucky enough to witness it, will ever forget. Emma Raducanu is living, inspiring proof that anyone can accomplish anything at any time. She has changed the sport – and also the world – forever.

  • catherine · November 29, 2021 at 1:55 am

    Well, for those who can’t get enough of Emma, here’s some more:

    I’m intrigued to learn that she’s ‘competed in motor sports’. Where, when ?

    Wasn’t so pleased to read the comment re the interviewer who only wants to speak to her. That’s unfair to the other players and also piles more expectations on Emma who isn’t going to win every match she plays and may not actually ‘change the world’.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 29, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Catherine, Lewis Hamilton may have fallen in love with Emma ) She is the IT girl of the moment with maybe even more distractions than Mike Tyson at his peak. Every body wants a piece of her right now. She is the hottest thing in sports right now.

  • Hartt · December 2, 2021 at 8:58 am

    The big news right now is about Johanna Konta retiring. I was never a fan of her one-dimensional game, but it is a shame she is retiring at a fairly young age. It sounds like she has had enough of the grind, injuries and Covid, and knows she no longer wants to put in the incredible amount of work to be a top player. I read that she is getting married soon, so she is ready to start a new chapter in her life.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 2, 2021 at 9:40 am

    Konta sort of faded away this year, can’t remember seeing her play any relevant matches in 2021. Will never forget that quirky serve motion. She played some great tennis. She came close to greatness. Much respect.

  • catherine · December 2, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    Konta took one look at Emma and made a timely exit. Have to say I wasn’t a fan of her game or her attitude. She did play well to win Miami in 2017 and then split with Wim Fisette at the end of the year, freeing him to link up with Angie and help her to Wimbledon 2018.

    For some reason she never became a real favourite with the casual British fan. Heather Watson was more popular, although a lesser player.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 2, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Catherine, Konta was a fine player but she had minimal charisma or personality on court and not the most appealing style of play to watch. She’s one of those talented but boring players who just can’t spark fan or media interest. Agnes Szavay, Kimiko Date phase 1, Amy Frazier, Mary Joe Fernandez were similar in that regard. Watson is a fun, vibrant personality with a friendly smile and twinkle in her eye. Konta closer resembles a robot on court and she tended to take the serious approach to all interviews. Probably would have been a good Biofile, she might have enjoyed my Biofile questions as opposed to the xs and os about backhands and forehands and results.

  • Hartt · December 2, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Konta did a 3-part interview with the WTA and the first 2 segments are up. This is a link to the first.

    In the 2nd segment she talks a bit about life after tennis. “Konta: It’s actually really interesting because I do have an interest in media. TV work, radio work and things like that.”

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 2, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    This Konta interview seems to belabor the simple point: “I’ve reached the point I just can’t give my all to tennis anymore and it’s time to move on to the next phase of life.” Konta is telegenic and bright, she will make a fine tv commentator for sky or bbc.



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