Mutua Madrid Open, R3 Preview 🇷🇺 Maria Sharapova vs. 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic
Maria Sharapova and Kristina Mladenovic will renew hostilities when they meet at the third round stage of the Mutua Madrid Open. This is a big of grudge match, Mladenovic was one of the most vocal players in opposing Sharapova’s apparent lenient treatment and welcoming return to the tour after a doping suspension. The pair played out a tense match in Stuttgart last year in Sharapova’s return tournament and it was Mladenovic who came from a set down to win, can Sharapova get revenge in Madrid?
Maria Sharapova has advanced to the third round in Madrid without dropping a set. Sharapova claimed back-to-back wins over Romanian’s. beating Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-4 6-1 and Irina-Camelia Begu 7-5 6-1. Sharapova’s wins were fairly similar, a tough opening set where the former Madrid champion seemingly broke the spirit of her opponents before running away with the match. Sharapova is playing some of the better tennis we have seen from her in 2018 across her first few matches this week, incredibly she won 19 straight points during the second set of her win over Begu.
Kristina Mladenovic has won back-to-back matches for the first time since Acapulco over 2 months ago. Mladenovic has good memories in Madrid having reached the final last year where she just fell short in an epic 3 set match against Simona Halep. Mladenovic is under pressure to defend those finalist points this year as she would like to remain in the top 30 and be seeded for Roland Garros which is just around the corner. Mladenovic started her 2018 Madrid campaign with a 7-5 6-0 win over CoCo Vandeweghe before beating Shuai Zhang 6-4 4-6 6-3.
The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece. The pair first met at Wimbledon way back in 2013 where Sharapova won in 2 tight sets, more recently it was Mladenovic who won 3-6 7-5 6-4 in Stuttgart last year.
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BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R3 Preview 🇫🇷 (14) Kristina Mladenovic vs. 🇨🇳 Qiang Wang
An interesting third round clash from the Californian desert sees the 14th seeded Kristina Mladenovic take on China’s Qiang Wang at the BNP Paribas Open. Wang has proven to be a very troublesome opponent for Mladenovic, Wang thrashed Mladenovic 6-0 6-0 in Tokyo last year in what was probably the low point in Mladenovic’s career. The Frenchwoman has turned her fortunes around of late, the 2017 Indian Wells semi-finalist will head into this match with a point to prove.
Mladenovic’s slump seems to be behind her. Mladenovic has had some good results of late, including a run to the final in St. Petersburg and more recently a quarter-final showing in Acapulco. Mladenovic received bye through the opening round in Indian Wells before confirming her spot in the third round with a 7-5 7-5 win over Sam Stosur. It was a gutsy win for Mladenovic, especially her effort in the second set given she faced break points to go 1-5 down before recovering to close out the match in straight sets.
Qiang Wang booked her place in the third round at the BNP Paribas Open courtesy of a couple of hard-fought 3 set victories. Wang started the week with a topsy-turvy 6-0 4-6 6-2 win over Timea Bacsinszky before coming from a set down to upset the 22nd seeded Elise Mertens 4-6 6-3 6-3. Wang’s win over Mertens was her best win of the season thus far, a confidence boosting win for the 26-year-old.
Wang has won both of the previous matches between the pair, both in straight sets, both on a hard court in 2017. A 6-1 6-4 win in Dubai and a 6-0 6-0 win in Tokyo.
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BNP Paribas Open, 🇺🇸🌴 Indian Wells R2 Preview 🇫🇷 (14) Kristina Mladenovic vs. 🇦🇺 Samantha Stosur
The 14th seeded Kristina Mladenovic will begin her 2018 BNP Paribas Open campaign with a difficult second round clash against Australia’s Samantha Stosur. Mladenovic went on a big run to the semi-finals at this event 12 months ago, as a result she has a significant chunk of points to defend over the next fortnight, the pressure is on the Frenchwoman. Adding to the pressure is the fact that Stosur has a 4-0 H2H record over Mladenovic, will Stosur maintain her unbeaten record against Mladenovic?
Mladenovic has managed to gain some kind of momentum over the last month. The 24-year-old ignited her season with a run to the final in St. Petersburg before heroically guiding France into the Fed Cup semi-finals. Mladenovic arrives in Indian Wells fresh off a quarter-final showing in Acapulco. However there have been some poor losses of late, including a miserable loss to Lesia Tsurenko at the quarter-final stage in Acapulco last week. This second round clash in Indian Wells looms as a critical moment in the season for Mladenovic, a win would be huge, a loss would be another blow to her confidence.
Sam Stosur booked her spot in the second round at the BNP Paribas Open with a 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory over Lauren Davis, the win extended Stosur’s unbeaten record against Davis to 4-0. Stosur has managed to build some momentum over the last month, Stosur won 3 consecutive matches for the first time in a while as she successfully came through the qualifying draw in Dubai a few weeks ago. The surface in Indian Wells is certainly favourable for Stosur as she gets plenty of time to run around and hit her forehand more often than not.
Stosur holds an unbeaten 4-0 record over Mladenovic, a 2-0 record on hard courts. The most recent match between the pair took place in Washington in 2015, Stosur won that match 6-2 6-2. Clearly this is a favourable match-up for Stosur.
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Kristina Mladenovic and Lesia Tsurenko will meet at the quarter-final stage of the 2018 Abierto Mexicano in a rematch of last year’s final. It was Tsurenko who got the better of Mladenovic in last year’s final, a fairly convincing straight set win for the Ukrainian. A resurgent Mladenovic will be eager for revenge heading into this match but the Frenchwoman has a poor 1-5 win/loss record against Tsurenko and will need to be at her best to get over the line.
Mladenovic’s terrible form slump seems to be well and truly behind her. The Frenchwoman is certainly playing with a renewed confidence but has still shown signs of vulnerability. The 2nd seed started the week with a commanding straight set win over Amandine Hesse before fighting from a set down to defeat Beatriz Haddad Maia 3-6 6-3 7-5. Mladenovic did well to eventually get over the line against the spirited Brazilian, especially after squandering 3 match points whilst serving for the match at 5-4. Mladenovic played with good variety and was smarter with her shot selection.
Lesia Tsurenko has been untroubled in her first couple of matches in Acapulco. The defending champion kicked off her 2018 Abierto Mexicano campaign with a 6-4 6-1 win over Lauren Davis before cruising past Arina Rodionova 6-3 6-1. Tsurenko will be relieved to have comfortably come through her first few matches this week and can now play with less pressure as she enters the business end of the week.
This has proven to be a good matchup for Tsurenko. It is the Ukrainian who holds a 5-1 record over Mladenovic and has won their two most recent matches in straight sets. A 7-5 6-1 win in last year’s Acapulco final and a 6-3 6-1 win in s-Hertogenbosch a few months later. Tsurenko’s consistency has exposed the weaknesses in the Mladenovic game.
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Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Preview
(11) 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic vs 🇷🇴 Ana Bogdan
Kristina Mladenovic arrives in Melbourne under a heap of pressure. The Frenchwoman has lost 14 matches in a row and has not won a match since Washington last year. Mladenovic will open her campaign at Melbourne Park with a first round clash against Ana Bogdan. This is a reasonable draw for Mladenovic, can the 11th seed finally reverse her fortunes or will it be 15 losses in a row for the talented 24-year-old?
Kristina Mladenovic is completely deprived of confidence at the moment having lost 14 matches in a row. Mladenovic was in super form midway through last season but things have gone dramatically wrong for the Frenchwoman. There is pressure on Mladenovic to quickly rediscover her form as she will soon have a lot of points to defend, if she keeps going how she has been lately she will suffer a huge drop in ranking.
Ana Bogdan’s form heading into the Australian Open was quite unconvincing. Bogdan did manage to claim a big win over Camila Giorgi in the opening round in Shenzhen before succumbing to Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets in the next round. Bogdan was beaten by the 364th ranked Aussie Naiktha Bains in the opening round of qualifying in Hobart last week.
Mladenovic won the only previous match between the pair, a 7-6 6-3 win in Moscow in 2015.
WTA Elite Trophy, 🇨🇳🌹🐉 Zhuhai RR Preview + Prediction (1) 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic vs (7) 🇩🇪 Julia Goerges
The final semi-final spot at the 2017 WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai will be up for grabs in the opening match of day 4. Julia Goerges is in prime position to progress to the next stage from the Azalea group, the German just needs to win one set against Kristina Mladenovic when the pair square off on Friday. Conversely, Mladenovic will need to beat Goerges in straight sets to advance. These two could not bring more contrasting form into this crucial match. Goerges has won 6 matches in a row after arriving in Zhuhai fresh off the title in Moscow whilst Mladenovic is on a 11-match losing streak. Can Mladenovic produce a miracle to snatch the final semi-final spot in Zhuhai?
WTA Elite Trophy, 🇨🇳🌹🐉 Zhuhai RR Preview + Prediction (1) 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic vs (10) 🇸🇰 Magdalena Rybarikova
The top seeded Kristina Mladenovic will begin her WTA Elite Trophy campaign on Wednesday when she comes up against Magdalena Rybarikova in the first match of the day in Zhuhai. Rybarikova got off to a losing start on Tuesday in Zhuhai, succumbing to Julia Goerges 1-6 6-7. Mladenovic will be out to break her astonishing string of 10 consecutive defeats, 9 of which ended in straight sets. It was in Moscow a few weeks ago that Mladenovic’s run of 19 consecutive sets lost was broken, but her losing run of matches remains. Can Mladenovic get off to a winning start in Zhuhai and finally break her winning drought?
Wimbledon 🇬🇧💂🍓 Day 2, R1 Match Preview: (12) 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic vs 🇫🇷 Pauline Parmentier
Kristina Mladenovic will open her 2017 Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday against compatriot Pauline Parmentier. Kristina Mladenovic has been one of the most consistent performers in 2017, Mladenovic has shown her ability to perform well on each surface. Mladenovic has not traditionally played her best on grass but she has the game to be very dangerous on this surface, given her significant improvements in 2017, the Frenchwoman is one to look out for at SW19.
WTA Aegon Classic, 🇬🇧 Birmingham QF Preview QF #2: (5) 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic vs (7/wc) 🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova
A blockbuster quarter-final clash at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham sees an in-form Kristina Mladenovic come up against a resurgent Petra Kvitova. This promises to be an exciting first-strike battle between two players that love to dominant with their huge forehands. Kvitova has had a clear edge over Mladenovic in their previous few matches but the Frenchwoman has vastly improved in 2017 and bring better form and match hardness into this quarter-final clash. Kvitova has traditionally been one of the most competent players on grass, this match against Mladenovic is a great test for Kvitova to see where she is at early in her comeback to the tour after a horrific injury in the off-season.
Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 Quarter-Final Preview + Prediction QF #2: (13) 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic vs (30) 🇨🇭 Timea Bacsinszky
Kristina Mladenovic will look to continue her dream run at her home Grand Slam at Roland Garros when she comes up against Timea Bacsinszky at the quarter-final stage in Paris on Tuesday. Mladenovic has already won three epic matches in Paris, the 24-year-old has been spurred on by the boisterous Parisian crowd, a force that seems to be making Mladenovic stronger. Bacsinszky is also right at home at Roland Garros, The Swiss number 1 is into the quarter-final stage for the third consecutive year in Paris, Bacsinszky will be looking to emulate her 2015 run to the final four by battling her way past an in-form Mladenovic. The scene is set for an epic between to fierce competitors.