Mladenovic Scores Best Win In Paris
Published January 29, 2013 12:00
PARIS, France - Kristina Mladenovic, one of France's brightest young stars and one of the brightest young stars on the WTA, period, scored the biggest win of her young career in front of her home crowd on Tuesday, as the first round of the Open GDF SUEZ continued at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
Mladenovic, a wildcard at the Premier-level tournament, battled No.7 seed Julia Goerges across three sets for over two and a half hours, originally leading 75 42 but eventually finding herself down 5-2 in the third; she was even two points from going out with Goerges serving at 5-3 in that third set, 30-0.
But she never stopped believing, and after two hours and 42 minutes finally emerged a 75 57 76(4) winner. The 19-year-old Frenchwoman's win over the World No.19 was the best win of her career so far - her previous best win was against a No.20-ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at last year's US Open.
"Playing at this stadium is wonderful, and with people who are close to me here encouraging me, it's just a great victory," Mladenovic said after the match. "It was a very tough match. Julia hits very hard and is a very tough player. It was a tough situation, being down 5-2 in the third set against a Top 20 player, but there were no secrets, I just had to focus on every point and keep trying, just keep going.
"I'm so happy I could come out with a win and play at that level. It really was a great victory."
"The conditions are obviously much different to the ones in Australia so it was tough getting used to that, but I'm happy it was a quick match," Vinci said. "We had good rallies and it was good tennis."
Other winners were Carla Suárez Navarro, who rallied from 4-0 down in the second set and saved two set points later in that set to beat Monica Niculescu, 63 76(3); Alizé Cornet, who rolled to victory in the third against Sofia Arvidsson, 63 46 60; and Stefanie Voegele, who beat Tsvetana Pironkova, 64 62.
"I finally found the key to beating Sofia and it really makes me happy," said Cornet, who had lost all three previous meetings with Arvidsson. ""I'm very happy I could come back after the second set and win like that in the third. Everything today was positive and I really want to keep the same level."
"I started playing very well in the first set but then she started playing much better in the second," Suárez Navarro said. "I told myself to just hang in there and I am very pleased with the outcome."
There was also some major star power on the doubles court, literally, with Petra Kvitova and Yanina Wickmayer taking on Andrea Hlavackova and Liezel Huber in a first round match. The No.2-seeded Hlavackova and Huber won a quick match tie-break to beat Kvitova and Wickmayer, 76(6) 46 61.