Tennis rivals don't normally get messages from their opponent's mother wishing them well in the next round. Particularly after a defeat.
Moments after American Sloane Stephens beat fellow teenager Laura Robson of Britain 7-5, 6-3 in a third-round match at the Australian Open on Saturday, she received a text.
''She was like, `Great job, good fight.' And she said, `Cathy says great job and good luck in the next round,'' Stephens said of the message her mother relayed from Robson's mother, Cathy.
Stephens, 19, and Robson, 18, are two of the most promising young talents on the women's tour, and the match between them felt like a glimpse of future Grand Slam encounters - perhaps a bit later than the third round.
They also just happen to be friends - and their mothers are friends, too.
''We're turning into the Fed-Nadal rivalry,'' Stephens said, jokingly.
She did think they'll get a larger venue than Court 2 next time. ''I don't think we'll play that court ever again.''
There are c...