On Sunday, Kristina Mladenovic won her third heart-stopper of the 2017 French Open, knocking off No. 4 seed and defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza to advance to the quarterfinals of her home-country Grand Slam.
Here’s a little more on the Top 10-bound Frenchwoman:
The Kristina Mladenovic File
Residence: Dubai, UAE
Current Rank: 14
Career-High Rank: 14 (May 2017)
Best US Open Finish: QF (2015)
- Mladeneovic has earned her way into the quarterfinals through a series of tough matches. She went the distance to defeat Jennifer Brady in the first round, 2-6, 6-3, 9-7; Shelby Rogers in the third round, 7-5, 4-6, 8-6; and then Muguruza in the fourth round, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Her only straight-sets victory came in Round 2, over 2012 Roland Garros finalist Sara Errani.
- Mladenovic entered the French Open as one of the hottest players on tour. Already in 2017, she has won a title in St. Petersburg; reached the final in Acapulco, Stuttgart and Madrid; and made it to the semifinals in Indian Wells. She entered Paris at No. 7 in the 2017 WTA points race.
- She was the French Open girls’ singles champion in 2009. That same year she rose to No. 1 in the world junior rankings and reached the girls’ singles final at both Wimbledon and the Orange Bowl. She was also a semifinalist at the 2008 US Open Junior Championships.
- She made headlines at the 2016 US Open for playing one of the longest sets in tournament history (since the advent of the tiebreak in 1970). The third set of her third-round match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ran a whopping 94 minutes before Pavlyuchenkova emerged with the victory. In all, the marathon set took longer than 11 of the other 15 women’s singles matches contested on Day 4 of last year’s Open. Mladenovic also reached the women's doubles final at the 2016 Open, with countrywoman Caroline Garcia.
- Prior to this year’s French Open, Mladenovic’s only previous foray into a Grand Slam quarterfinal came at the 2015 US Open, when she upset former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 13 seed Ekaterina Makarova before falling in three sets to eventual finalist Roberta Vinci.
They Said It!
“I’ve always played in front of a full Suzanne Lenglen Court, but right now it’s packed to the rafters. I wanted to say … I love playing in front of you. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes. I made about 35 double faults [today]. You give me the courage and strength to keep going in every point. It’s thanks to you that I’m through and we’re in the quarters.” – Mladenovic, addressing her home-country fans after defeating Muguruza on Sunday