Kristina Mladenovic vs Heather Watson, Acapulco R2 Preview

Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, ??? Acapulco R2 Preview
(2) Kristina Mladenovic vs Heather Watson

An interesting second round clash at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL on Wednesday sees the second seeded Kristina Mladenovic come up against Heather Watson. Mladenovic is playing good tennis in recent weeks, most notably at the premier level event in St. Petersburg where the Frenchwoman claimed her first career title. Watson is not in such great form having only won 5 of her last 7 matches. Nevertheless, matches between Mladenovic and Watson are usually close and I suspect this one will be no different…

A confident Kristina Mladenovic cruised through to the second round in Acapulco, powering her way past Varvara Lepchenko in just over an hour to claim a 6-2 6-3 win. Mladenovic is the type of player that needs to be confident to be playing well, a huge, much needed confidence boost was delivered to Mladenovic when she won her first career title in St. Petersburg a few weeks ago. Mladenovic will look to continue that form in Acapulco this week where she is the second seed, there is no reason why the Frenchwoman can’t contend for the title if she plays her best tennis. 

Heather Watson is competing in her first tournament since the Australian Open. Watson’s Australian Open ended in huge disappointment when she squandered several leads to ultimately lose to Jennifer Brady in the second round. Watson looked nervy at times in her opening round clash with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Acapulco, but the Brit managed to keep her cool despite a few tricky moments to record a 7-5 6-3 victory. The conditions in Acapulco suit Watson nicely, the courts are nice quick with a reasonably low bounce.

Kristina Mladenovic holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Heather Watson. Mladenovic has won their three most recent clashes which includes an unofficial victory at the Hopman Cup earlier this year.

Despite Mladenovic’s recent successes in this match-up, I think this is a good match-up for Watson when she brings a good level to the court. The pressure is all on Mladenovic on this occasion being the second seed, which will work in the favour of Watson. The quicker conditions in Acapulco suit Watson in this match-up because she will have a greater chance to rush Mladenovic and play the counter-puncher. I think Watson will cause the upset here.

Prediction: Heather Watson to defeat Kristina Mladenovic in 3 sets


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