Sloane Stephens, Laura Robson tout new tennis rivalry

Updated: 19 January 2013 16:56 IST

The win is likely to see Stephens force her way into the top 20, while Robson is projected to return to the top 50.

Melbourne:

Teen tennis sensations Sloane Stephens and Laura Robson are not only good friends off court but feel they can establish a compelling rivalry on it.

The powerful Stephens, 19, came out on top of their third round clash at the Australian Open 7-5, 6-3 Saturday -- an intense and entertaining contest showcasing two of the sport's brightest young talents.

The American has the edge over Britain's Robson, 18, after also beating her in Hobart this month and hopes their rivalry can develop into something special.

"We're turning into the Fed/Nadal rivalry," she joked, but then added: "Whenever we play, we have good matches.

"I mean, it could be (a special rivalry). It's obviously going to take a while. The matches are good. We have good matches when we play. So we'll see."

She added that the two were good friends off court.

"We're pretty good friends. Actually my mom and her mom are good friends," she said.

"Right after I got off the court, my mom texted me. She was like, 'Great job, good fight'. And she said, 'Cathy says great job and good luck in the next round'. That's Laura's mom."

The win is likely to see Stephens force her way into the top 20, while Robson is projected to return to the top 50.

The Briton said she was encouraged by her performances in Melbourne, and hoped to play Stephens a lot more in the future.

"I thought we both played a bit better than we did last week," she said.

"I'm sure I'll play Sloane a lot in the future. I'm sure after today she's going to be top 20, so good for her."

Topics : Tennis Australian Open 2013 Laura Robson Sloane Stephens
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