No.8 seed Kristina Mladenovic was the last first-round winner on a backlogged schedule at the Nature Valley Open, beating Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech near midnight indoors in Nottingham.
WTA Staff
June 12, 2019

NOTTINGHAM, Great Britain - A whirlwind four-day span for Kristina Mladenovic ended when she became the last first-round winner at the Nature Valley Open on Wednesday.

An odyssey for the No.8 seed began nearly 96 hours earlier on Sunday, as she and Timea Babos won the French Open doubles title, and ended just before midnight on Wednesday evening with her 7-5, 6-2 victory over Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech.

Read more: Mladenovic to ascend to World No.1 in doubles

"It's been such a fast turnaround, with obviously finishing the doubles final in Paris on Sunday on clay," Mladenovic said with a laugh, as she chronicled the last few days.

"The next day, I saw the forecast for Nottingham, and I decided to stay in Paris and practice on a grass court at my club. We took the train on Monday afternoon to arrive here, and Tuesday was no play at all.

"We played on carpet indoors, and this morning, we were on hard, so it felt like I played on all existing surfaces. Then, I get to play the very, very last match of the day - you're getting ready for the grass season and you play at 11 p.m. on indoor hard!

"She's a tricky opponent. She can be dangerous, is talented and she obviously had qualifying matches under her belt. She's into the tournament, and I just wanted to focus on myself.

"It's not expected, and very tough conditions, but I'm just glad that I somehow pulled through. The most important thing was to come through. I'm just very glad to have managed to [do it]."


Mladenovic trailed the Polish World No.221 by an early break in the first set, as Frech opened up an early 3-1 lead.

However, the Frenchwoman won the next two games, and eight of nine points, to draw level at 3-3, and later scored the decisive break of the first set at 5-5.

In the second, the World No.48 broke early for a 2-1 lead, as she held break points in each of Frech's service games in the set.

Conversely, the Polish No.4 was unable to create any break point chances on the Frenchwoman's serve in the second set, and Mladenovic sealed a spot in the second round with a love hold and an 80-minute victory.

Mladenovic will bounce back on Thursday to face Australian Astra Sharma, who came through her first round match when Magdalena Rybarikova retired due to a respiratory infection after losing the first set, 6-1.  

"The thing is that it's the same for everybody. Coming into this match, I said it was the same for my opponent. You can't go in pessimistic because of the tough conditions...if the weather is very tricky this week," Mladenovic said.

"I will just try to get some good recovery, and we will see what tomorrow brings. I don't know much about [Sharma] so the thing is just to try and go out there, do the best I can, and we'll see."