Timea’s gutsy win: Hungarian fights back to claim women’s crown
06 Dec, 2010 04:00 AM
WOMEN’s CHAMPION: Timea Babos plays a volley.
TIMEA Babos’ fighting spirit and tenacious play turned heads all week at the William Loud Bendigo International.
The 17-year-old knocked out top seed and defending champion Alicia Molik in the second round in a stirring three-set battle.
Once again yesterday Babos had to dig deep to come from a set down to defeat Bulgaria’s Elitsa Kostova in the women’s final 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
“Elitsa’s a big fighter and she’s a really good player so it was a really tough game,” Babos said.
“In the first set she played amazing tennis, but I was trusting more in my conditioning.
“I think I showed everyone this week that I have one of the best conditioning and that I’m probably the biggest fighter here.
“The basics for me just were to stay in the game, stay in the match and try to just get it to go longer and longer.”
The first set did not go Babos’s way, with the teenager making a number of unforced errors which resulted in her dropping her first service game.
Kostova, on the other hand, was outstanding in the first set, serving with power and returning the ball with finesse.
Kostova managed to break Babos’ serve again allowing the 20-year-old to take out the first set 6-3.
The tables turned in the second, with Babos picking up her game and controlling most of the play.
The Hungarian’s serve improved and she started taking her chances down the lines to run her opponent off the court.
Babos earned the early break in the deciding set after a string of uncharacteristic mistakes from Kostova.
However, Babos’ advantage did not last long with Kostova breaking back in the following game.
Kostova broke again in the ninth game to push her lead out to 5-4 and she looked likely to take out the title.
But Babos had other ideas. She pumped herself up and ran down every ball in the final two games to take out the final set 7-5.
Babos’ singles title caps off an impressive week of tennis for the teenager, who also took out the women’s doubles title with Great Britain’s Melanie South.
“It was a fantastic week for me. I beat so many good players and I also won the doubles, so it was the best end to finish the year,” she said.
“It was the best week for me, not just tennis wise but also just being here (in Bendigo) was fantastic. I really enjoyed it.”
Babos said the facilities at the event were some of the best she’s seen, especially when compared to her home town of Sopron in Hungary.
“The 30 courts here were fantastic because it meant we could always practice and always warm up,’’ she said.
“We’ve only got nine courts in Hungary, so it’s amazing to have so many here.
“It wasn’t just the tennis I enjoyed. The lake and the area around the courts was really fantastic.”