Wuhan R3: Kristina Mladenovic vs Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
An unexpected third round match-up at the Wuhan sees Kristina Mladenovic take on Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. This will be the first career meeting between Mladenovic and Schmiedlova, a wonderful opportunity for both to reach a rare premier 5 level quarter-final and pick up valuable ranking points.
Kristina Mladenovic is finally starting to live up to her enormous potential. The Frenchwoman reached her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final at the U.S Open last month and she now has an opportunity to go on a deep run in Wuhan. Mladenovic started her week with a convincing 6-1 6-4 victory over Patricia Tig before advancing to the third round with a 7-5 1-6 6-2 win over Madison Keys. It was a big victory for Mladenovic, another big scalp she has claimed in 2015.
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova continues to impress. The Slovakian reached the semi-finals in Seoul last week and has made a fabulous start to her Wuhan campaign. Schmiedlova recorded a 6-4 6-4 first round victory over Duque-Marino before picking up arguably the biggest victory of her career in the second round where she defeated Caroline Wozniacki 1-6 6-4 7-6.
Schmiedlova trailed 1-6 1-4 and looked destined for a routine loss, however the Slovakian really raised her level, matching Wozniacki from the baseline in a stunning display to turn the match around. The Schmiedlova backhand more than matched Wozniacki’s famous backhand, the Slovakian did well at the end of the match to maintain her composure as Wozniacki took several medial timeouts at questionable times.
This will be the first career meeting between Mladenovic and Schmiedlova, this is a critical match for both, a great opportunity to reach the quarter-finals. I’m leaning towards Schmiedlova, the Slovakian is just a little more reliable and is far more solid from the baseline. It will be tough for Mladenovic to hit through Schmiedlova.