January 16, 2019,

Final match scores can be deceiving as indicated by American super star Sloane Stephen’s two set victory over her former doubles partner, Hungary’s Timea Babos, with a 6-3, 6-1 knockout that propelled Ms. Stephens into the third round of the 2019 Australian Open.

Despite the fairly lopsided score appearance, it was anything but easy.

Ms. Babos stared down 23 break points and managed to stave off 18 of them as this back and forth tussle took over 1 hour and 23 minutes to complete in the hot Melbourne sun.

Watching the ebb and flow of the match demonstrated that Timea was often so close to tightening things up but Sloane seemed to decisively hit the right shots at the most important times.

The fifth-seeded American, who won the 2017 U.S. Open over fellow American Madison Keys, captured junior doubles titles with Ms. Babos at the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2010.

Maria Sharapova looked smart in her light blue dress and matching aqua blue racquet and dispatched of the rising Swedish star Rebecca Peterson 6-2, 6-1 in a match that seemed not as close as the score indicated.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com article, photo via Tennis-World-USA

From beginning to end Maria Sharapova had every move down pat including her shadow boxing exercise before returning serve.

And her reward for this sterling performance?

She gets to face the defending champion and number three seed Caroline Wozniacki in the third round. This is a side effect of not playing much before leading up to the Australian Open. Not as highly ranked as she once was, she finds herself facing higher seeds in the first week of a Grand Slam instead of the second.

There is a little at stake here. Somewhat of a back story.

Back in 2017 at the US Open Ms. Wozniacki complained publicly about Maria being scheduled on the US Open show courts like Ashe, Armstrong or the Grandstand where Sharapova starred while she found herself on court number five which Wozniacki found unacceptable.

Maria was not impressed by her comments.

What is the best court here in 2019?

Any court that describes itself ready for engagement in the fourth round where the winner will proceed.

Maria Sharapova leads 6-4 in career head to head competition with Caroline, but they haven’t played each other since 2015 and Caroline has won both previous times they have met at the Slams, in the fourth round of the U.S. Open in 2010 and 2014.

Timea Babos and Rebecca Peterson are now out of the tournament but let’s take a look at these two young tennis luminaries before they go.

Tímea Babos is a Hungarian professional tennis player who was born in Sopron.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com article, Robbie Mendelson – originally posted to Flickr as Timea Babos Wikimedia photo credit

Sopron is a city in Hungary on the Austrian border.

Our star has won three singles and 17 doubles titles on the WTA Tour, one singles and one doubles WTA 125K series titles, as well as 12 singles and nine doubles titles on the ITF Women’s Circuit.

In September 2016, she reached her career-high singles ranking of world No. 25, and in July 2018, she reached No. 1 in the doubles rankings, becoming the first Hungarian player to reach the top of the WTA rankings in either singles or doubles.

Super.

An accomplished junior player, Timea’s greatest success has come in doubles, winning the 2018 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.

The year 2018 was special for Timea.

Timea recorded her second top-10 win over 10th seed CoCo Vandeweghe in the first round of the Australian Open.

In February, she won the Taiwan Open, defeating Kateryna Kozlova in the final. She also reached final in Monterrey, where she lost to Garbiñe Muguruza.

After Wimbledon Timea became No. 1 in doubles rankings for the first time.

If additional success is measured in money, and we think it is, Timea has earned over $5,706,747 during her brilliant career. Good for her.

Looking at her resume impresses upon us that her loss to Sloane Stephens is a temporary setback.

Maria Sharapova brought her A game so Rebecca Peterson had her 2019 Australian Open come to a swift end.

Rebecca Peterson is a Swedish tennis player of Estonian descent.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com article, photo via Tennis Wallpapers

Ms. Peterson has won one doubles title on the WTA tour, as well as eleven singles and six doubles titles on the ITF circuit in her career.

What is the ITF circuit?

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the governing body of world tennis, wheelchair tennis, and beach tennis. It was founded in 1913 as the International Lawn Tennis Federation by twelve national associations, and as of 2016, is affiliated with 211 national tennis associations and six regional associations.

The ITF partners with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to govern professional tennis.

The ITF organizes the Grand Slam events, annual team competitions for men (Davis Cup), women (Fed Cup), and mixed teams (Hopman Cup), as well as tennis and wheelchair tennis events at the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games on behalf of the International Olympic Committee.

The ITF sanctions the Grand Slam tennis tournaments as well as circuits which span age ranges (junior, professional men and women, and seniors) as well as disciplines (wheelchair tennis; beach tennis). In addition to these circuits, the ITF also maintains rankings for juniors, seniors, wheel chair and beach tennis.

That’s pretty extensive.

On June 11, 2018 Rebecca reached her best singles ranking of world No. 76. On 30 November 2015, she peaked at world No. 95 in the doubles rankings.

Our young star made her WTA tour debut at the 2012 Swedish Open.

Rebecca made her Grand Slam Debut at the US Open 2017 where she lost in the first round against Denisa Allertová. In 2018 at the 2018 French Open she had her first Grand Slam main draw win when she won 6-4 6-3 against Su-wei Hsieh.

Based upon those accomplishments we can see that Rebecca is early in a career that is on the rise.

Love the 2019 Australian Open.

It was a nail biting second round and given the significance of the upcoming Sharapova and Wozniacki showdown, it is only going to get better.

~ ~ ~

OPENING PHOTO of Ms. Stephens via TribLIVE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%ADmea_Babos

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopron

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Tennis_Federation

https://www.si.com/tennis/2019/01/15/sloane-stephens-defeats-timea-babos-third-round-australian-open

https://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-sharapova-wozniacki-tennis-20170902-story.html

https://www.foxsports.com/tennis/story/sharapova-wozniacki-to-meet-in-3rd-round-at-australia-open-011619