Kristina Mladenovic is a former world number ten. The French woman has always been a danger on the doubles tour but is now back on the quest to improve her singles game again.
At the back of the 2017 season and into the 2018 season she suffered a massive loss in confidence on a 15 match losing streak but as of late she has hired former coach of Vika, Serena and Osaka in Sascha Bajin and things are looking up for her.
At Istanbul she made it to the quarter finals following wins against impressive Ukrainian players Yastremska and Kozlova before falling in a tight third set battle against Petra Martic. She was once again teamed up with Timea Babos in the doubles and the two won the title there.
In Madrid she may have left in round two but came through qualifying without a major issue and defeated a tricky Strycova and despite going out in straight sets to Kvitova she gave the three time champion something to think about.
Rome, her best so far.
Once again through qualifying with wins against teenager Anisimova in the final round before a first round victory against fellow Frenchwoman Ferro. Another fellow Frenchwoman stood in her way in round one and it was her previous doubles partner Caroline Garcia who she dispatched 6-1 6-2.
Kristina was meant to play on wash-out Wednesday but came in Thursday and wow she produced the results of the day with a 6-2 2-6 6-1 win against Belinda Bencic followed by a routine 6-2 6-3 win against Ash Barty.
There has been a big improvement. I think the fact she didn’t play doubles in Madrid or Rome shows a shift and I think it is the correct decision even though how good she has been and going forward I do think it would benefit her in the long run by shelving the doubles for now.
At 6 foot she has a big serve so should be utilising it and her percentage on her first serve has improved a lot. There is still some work to do on the second serve which I think we could see a quicker outcome but one that benefits her.
I think Kiki can cause problems in Paris, the crowd will be there for her and she usually feeds off them so well so I’m excited to see what happens.
I see her as a top 20 player potential and she is a determined player.
I remember when she snapped that 15 match losing streak and the “cool” thing on social media nowadays is to mock someone but I tell you something it takes some guts to step onto the court following 5 or 10 defeats in a row let alone 15 so respect to Kiki for that. I don’t think many could do that and she is on the right path to turning it around.