Mladenovic Conquers First WTA $125 In Taipei
Published November 04, 2012 12:00
TAIPEI, Chinese Taipei - It has been a breakthrough last few months for Kristina Mladenovic and the momentum kept going this week as the French teenager won the OEC Taipei WTA Ladies Open - the first WTA $125 event.
The new WTA $125 line of events was designed to give an opportunity to up-and-coming players to play extra tournaments, and not many players fit the "up-and-coming player" tag as well as the 19-year-old Mladenovic, who has really been picking up steam since the end of the summer, in singles and doubles.
After winning her first WTA title of any kind in Montréal in the doubles event then reaching the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time at the US Open, Mladenovic dropped a double whammy in Québec City, reaching her first WTA semifinal in singles and polishing it off with another WTA doubles title.
And so Mladenovic carried that momentum to Taipei, and although she was pushed to three sets in three of her first four matches, the No.4-seeded Frenchwoman made it all the way to her first WTA $125 title, beating No.5 seed - and Chinese Taipei's own - Chang Kai-Chen in straights in the final, 64 63.
That wasn't all, either - Mladenovic and Chang squared off in the doubles final as well, Mladenovic with Chan Hao-Ching as the No.1 seeds and Chang and Olga Govortsova as the No.2 seeds. Mladenovic and Chan won that one, 57 62 108, rallying from a hefty 7-2 deficit in the match tie-break to lift the trophy.
"It's the first time I get two titles at a WTA event - it's been a great week and I am very happy!" Mladenovic beamed. "In the doubles final we were down, but I told Hao-Chin we just have to play point by point and the game is not over yet. We played really hard each point and believed in ourselves until the end.
"I'm so glad with the result."
Chan, who is from Chinese Taipei and is the younger sister of WTA star Chan Yung-Jan, was equally thrilled: "This means a lot to me - when this was an ITF tournament I got a wildcard in doubles with my sister and I won my first ITF doubles title. And today I won my first WTA $125 title with Mladenovic. It feels amazing and I always really enjoy playing here at home in Taipei."
Chang, also from Chinese Taipei, was disappointed but still looked on the bright side: "Today I wasn't in my game - I didn't focus well and the results didn't come out as I had hoped they would. Of course I feel very disappointed, but I can't change the result, and I just have to hope for better in the next tournaments.
"I really appreciated all the fans coming to support me this week though," Chang added. "I'll be back here next year and I hope I will do even better."
The second WTA $125 event takes place in Pune, India this coming week.