The other day I was listening to Martina Navaratilova on BT Sport and she said something along the lines of sometimes it takes players who have more weapons to find that consistent high level where you can trust all your shots but for Kristina Mladenovic things are falling into place fast and she is looking a big threat on the tour but what makes her so dangerous?
Her game has everything to reach the top. In the past it was based a lot on the serve and the forehand but she has adapted and improved and it’s something required these days to be at the top, you can’t be a top player without that variation which is where you could say doubles with Carolina Garcia has helped her game especially with net play and slice.
Net play is something which has adapted and improved over time and with the doubles with Caroline where they were a formidable team it forced her go mix it up you can’t just sit inside the baseline and hit forehands you have to use volleys and drop shots and she times it well.
What I like about Kiki is she seems to plan ahead a little during rallies she isn’t playing shots for the sake of playing shots but with an ending in mind which means she wins the point.
I was watching Kiki play against Wozniacki and there was one shot we saw two contrasting shots from the Frenchwoman.
It begins with the slice backhand down the line, it takes the pace off the ball and keeps it low and because of the spin on the ball Wozniacki can only really go cross court and then Mladenovic lines it up with a beautiful forehand cross court winner.
First three months have gone well. The decision end doubles partnership with Garcia was a surprise but I think the right decision as both look to further their singles careers and improve on the singles tour and to play both simultanesiouly is tough. This year Mladenovic has seen off Venus, Pliskova, Halep and Wozniacki and made her first Mandatory semi-final so who knows what the rest of the year has in for store for her…