PARIS, France - On Day 6 at Roland Garros, the Insider Notebook became a bit unstable. And we wouldn't have it any other way.
Let Sveta be Sveta.
It hasn't been an easy first week for 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. The No.8 seed has had to battle hard through all three matches, needing over two hours to beat Christina McHale and fending off inspired three-set challenges from Oceane Dodin and Zhang Shuai. But the Russian is into the Round of 16 and will play either Caroline Wozniacki or CiCi Bellis.
Kuznetsova's best tennis is yet to come in Paris, but first she's trying to check her emotions and off-court negativity at the door.
"I've been listening to an interview with Andre Agassi, he was saying about Novak, it was very nice how he put it," Kuznetsova said. "He said if 'I had Novak's potential I wouldn't sleep at night.'
"Sometimes I have my forehand or backhand or whatever shots, I have so many options. I wish I had one or two and that's it. I'm creative. I play from my heart, I play from my emotions. This is what makes me unstable. I have a bad mood or whatever days, this is how I am. I can't fight it because it's not possible. I have to accept it and this is how I am.
"I'm happy with whatever I have, I just have to accept that some days I can be very good and some days I feel pretty bad."
Don't get it twisted: It's a Kiki thing.
Despite her fantastic 2017 season, it seems that reporters are just now getting to know Kristina Mladenovic. 'Comeback Kiki' made another appearance at Roland Garros on Friday, as she rallied from 2-5 down in the third to beat last year's quarterfinlist Shelby Rogers 7-5, 4-6, 8-6 to advance to the Round of 16 on home soil for the first time.
Throughout the match, Mladenovic took to celebrating by pointing to her head, which seemed to some to be a new move and perhaps an homage to two-time champion Stan Wawrinka. But Mladenovic has been doing the head-point for a while now.
"That's obviously a Stan thing, because people know more Stan than me, but this is also something I was doing from long time ago," she said. "This is also a Kiki thing. But people will start to notice that, I guess.
"Yeah, I can say it can be a copy of Stan, because he's a great champion and I respect him a lot. He's a big inspiration. But it didn't start because of him, but something I was doing also for a long time."
Samantha Stosur wants a rewrite.
Stosur has looked in fine form through the first week, easing past Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 10 minutes. A runner-up to Francesca Schiavone in the 2010 final and a three-time semifinalist, the Aussie was asked to describe her relationship with Roland Garros.
"Oh, I think if you asked me after losing to Francesca in the final, I would say it was a horrible, you know, sad story," she said with a laugh. "But as I've been able to get over that loss and look at it for what it is on the whole of what I've been able to do here, I think it's great.
"I guess it would be a nice, romantic love story where there's hopefully still a great finish at the end."
Stosur plays Jelena Ostapenko for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Quick hits with Timea Bacsinszky.
- On Ons Jabeur's milestone of becoming the first Arab woman to advance to the third round of a Slam:
"I knew Salima Sfar as well pretty well. We played a couple of doubles together. She's a great, great person and player, as well.
"So she kind of continued Salima's legacy, which is quite good. It shows women in North Africa that anything is possible, and that women are limitless, and there are options, there are ways to live their dreams.
"Ons for sure should be very, very proud of the person she is and of what she carries. It's a privilege. But for sure this is a lot of pressure, but she should just play for herself and play for her own dreams and goals as well."
- On winning three consecutive matches for the first time since March:
"At the beginning of the tournament, I said in my pre-tournament press conference that I was seeking for some winning streaks. I finally got my third win in a row. Hey, wait. (Grabs bottle of Perrier and shakes it) Champagne!"
- On...ok, honestly we don't know what. This is an actual excerpt from her press conference transcript:
Q. I don't know whether you'll tell me, but what are you going to do? Are you going to try to make her run? We know that she doesn't, is not a very good slider.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Can you read in my eyes? Wow, you're strong. Where is it you live? Over there in the countryside in Switzerland. Don't you have people who have the secret who read people's minds through their eyes?
Quote of the Day: Take it away, Kiki!
Q. Petra was wearing a T-shirt saying "Courage, Belief and Pojd." If you have your own T-shirt describing yourself and your experience here so far, what three words would you use?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Three words? Three words? I don't know.
Q. I. Don't. Know.
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: No, just one. Fighter. That's it.