Kristina Mladenovic won her first Grand Slam title on Sunday, partnering Daniel Nestor to win the mixed doubles at Wimbledon. And there was a very special person in the stands - who was it?
WTA Staff

LONDON, England - One of the WTA's most promising rising stars snagged her first Grand Slam title on Sunday, as Kristina Mladenovic captured the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Daniel Nestor.

The No.8-seeded Mladenovic and Nestor, who had taken out No.2 seeds Sania Mirza and Horia Tecau and No.3 seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Nenad Zimonjic en route to the final, edged No.1 seeds Lisa Raymond and Bruno Soares in the final, but just barely - they saved two match points with Mladenovic serving at 5-6 in the third set, and eventually closed out the championship a few games later, 57 62 86.

It was redemption in a way, too - Mladenovic and Nestor lost in the final of the French Open in June.

"Our opponents at the French told us they were lucky to win - I think we were lucky today, maybe a little justice," Nestor said. "It was a great match, great atmosphere - we knew that people would pretty much leave after the men's final, but we were happy there were some people. It wasn't bad."

But among those people was a very, very special person - Marion Bartoli, the ladies' singles champion.

"We talked to each other before the end of the tournament and said we're going to try to support each other because we are like the last French players in the tournament," Mladenovic said. "I'm very happy she could come because there is a ball tonight and she obviously has to prepare and dress up, so it was really nice of her to have come and supported us. She's a really good friend of mine, actually."

What about Mladenovic and Nestor going to the ball? "Yes," Mladenovic commented. "Daniel's very happy to go. We were dressing up with his wife earlier today, and choosing the dress and everything."

"They were choosing outfits before the match," Nestor added. "I'm like, 'Stay focused!'"

Back to the court, Mladenovic and Nestor were each asked what makes them such a strong team.

"I like playing with girls that hit big and are aggressive because I'm pretty slow - I'm not going to be the one covering more than half the court, which happens sometimes in mixed doubles," Nestor said. "I'm fortunate to play with someone that can more than do her share. She's a great player. She's going to be one of the top singles players eventually. Right now I'm catching her while she's maybe not winning four or five matches in singles - she's winning two or three, so hopefully that will change for her.

"Right now she's focusing on doubles and mixed. I caught her at the right time."

"We've had amazing results - we've played twice and made a final and won today," Mladenovic said. "He is such a good player. He has lots of experience. I try to do my job, and he's helping me a lot at the net. I think we play well in the important moments too. We've gotten through many tough matches.

"I'm going to say in front of you again, I'm really happy to play with him. It's such an honor. He's such a big player in doubles. He won almost everything. We talk that he hasn't won everything in mixed doubles, though - because he has won everything in men's doubles, but not everything in mixed, yet."