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?? (11) Kristina Mladenovic vs ?? Shuai Peng
Kristina Mladenovic is no longer a player in crisis. The Frenchwoman’s 15-match losing streak is now a thing of the past as she arrives in Doha fresh off a couple of great weeks of tennis. Mladenovic was the key figure in the French teams Fed Cup victory over Belgium on the weekend and she also reached the final in St. Petersburg a few weeks ago. Mladenovic will begin her Doha campaign against China’s Shuai Peng.
Mladenovic has seemingly turned her fortunes around just at the right time (most her points are to be defended over the coming months). When the 24-year-old was beaten in the opening round of the Australian Open by Ana Bogdan she was on a shocking run of 15 consecutive defeats. However, the Australian Open proved to be a turning point for Mladenovic when she won the doubles title with Timea Babos. Since then Mladenovic went on to bring an end to her losing streak by reaching the final in St. Petersburg. More recently, Mladenovic was involved in all 3 victories as France beat Belgium 3-2 to reach the Fed Cup semi-finals, Mladenovic beat Kristen Flipkens and Elise Mertens in straight sets.
Shuai Peng arrives in Doha deprived of any confidence. It has been a disastrous start to the season for Peng. China’s top ranked player is yet to win a match in 2018, injury problems have been a real issue for Peng over the last 6 months. Peng was thrashed in the opening round of the Australian Open by Marta Kostyuk and suffered a similar fate a few weeks ago in the opening round in Taipei City at the hands of Ana Bogdan.
This will be the first career meeting between the pair.