Archive for the 'Kristina Mladenovic' Category


USA wins the cup, but Nicolas Mahut steals the show!

The United States remains well and truly the most successful Hyundai Hopman Cup nation with the team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and John Isner claiming their sixth victory inside Perth’s Burswood Dome in front of a crowd of 8564 people. The USA team came into Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIII unseeded but played outstanding tennis all week dominating Group B beating France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Nicolas Mahut 3-0, Italy’s Francesca Schiavone and Potito Starace 2-1 and Great Britain’s Laura Robson and Andy Murray 3-0. Mattek-Sands and Isner took on the Belgium team of Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans in the Final after they replaced the Serbian team of Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic when Ivanovic suffered a slight stomach tear.

”It’s been an amazing week. It’s my first time in Perth and I’ve really enjoyed myself. It’s funny, I saw this (diamond tennis ball trophy) actually when I first got here and I thought it was the best trophy in sports,” Mattek-Sands said. ”This is one of the best run events of the WTA Tour of the year. It’s fantastic. There was a really strong field this year, there was great players; Ana, Justine, Djokovic, Hewitt. I hope everyone enjoyed watching some great tennis this week.” Isner made his debut at last year’s Hopman Cup and was delighted to return, and to partner Mattek-Sands to form a winning team. He was also happy to bounce back from a tough loss to Murray. ”I’ve got to thank Bethanie; her back’s got to be hurting from carrying me all week. She was rock solid all week long,” Isner said.


France puts GB out of the Hopman Cup!

Great Britain’s hopes of winning the Hopman Cup ended with defeat for Andy Murray and Laura Robson in the decisive mixed doubles rubber against France. Nicolas Mahut and Kristina Mladenovic won 6-4 6-2 to give France the tie 2-1.

Robson had earlier lost the opening singles rubber 6-4 3-6 6-0 to Mladenovic, before Murray battled past Mahut 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5). Britain will take on the United States in their last Group B match on Friday but cannot now qualify for the final. The Americans have won both their ties so far, while Britain have a 1-1 record after losing to Italy in their opener.

Robson, 16, had been defeated in straight sets by French Open champion Francesca Schiavone on Monday but made a strong start against 17-year-old Mladenovic with an early break. Robson cut an increasingly frustrated figure as she saw four break points slip by in a 13-minute game at 2-1 in the second, and a 0-40 lead disappear at 4-3, but after Mladenovic went long on the fourth break point of the game it came down to a deciding set. Robson could not complete the comeback, however, and Mladenovic stormed through the final six games to wrap up an impressive victory.

It came down to the mixed doubles and a heavy fall for Mahut at deuce in game three did not bode well for the French, but after getting his ankle taped he came straight out and helped force the first break on Robson’s serve. The French pair served out the set and, after losing a 2-0 lead at the start of the second, regained the advantage in game five thanks to some blistering hitting from Mladenovic. Britain reached the final 12 months ago but their hopes of going one better effectively ended when Robson dropped serve again and Mahut served out confidently to set up a crunch match on Friday between France and Italy. “I don’t think we played too badly, I thought they played really well,” said Robson. “We had a tough one on Monday so hopefully we can win one on Friday.” Asked how he was feeling after two matches in quick succession, Murray said: “I’m a little bit stiff and sore but that’s to be expected, I’ve been off court for five or six weeks and the body’s feeling it a little bit.” The US earlier beat Italy 2-1 after Bethanie Mattek-Sands stunned world number seven Francesca Schiavone 6-4 6-4, and John Isner beat Potito Starace 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4.


Keys to face #1 seed Mladenovic in a rematch.

French top seed Gianni Mina enjoyed a straightforward 62 61 victory over Slim Hamza of Tunisia to reach the quarterfinals of the Dunlop Orange Bowl, the last Grade A event of the year. World number five Mina had a fine clay season in 2009, winning both the tournaments of Istres and Beaulieu sur Mer and reaching the final round at the Luxemburg Junior Open, Banana Bowl and Roland Garros. In the hope of equalling Guy Forget’s feat of winning the 1982 Orange Bowl, he will now try to claim his first junior trophy outside his homeland.

Mina will next meet twelfth seed Junior Ore of the USA, who dropped the first set and battled back in the second before his opponent, sixth seed Guilherme Clezar of Brazil, was forced to retire with cramps in the fifth game of the decisive set, trailing 46 62 31. In the top half of the draw, unseeded Johannes Van Overbeek from Boca Raton, Florida, required three sets to overcome Jack Carpenter of Great Britain after the American wasted two match points in the decisive set, eventually winning 64 26 75. The boys’ competition saw the upset of the day when Eddie Herr champion, seventh seed Denis Kudla of the USA, lost to unseeded Dutch Justin Elevend. As also happened to Brazilian Clezar, Kudla was forced to retire with cramps in the third set while trailing 36 75 20.

In the bottom half of the draw, European Championships semifinalist and eighth seed Arthur De Greef of Belgium came from behind to earn victory over Dutchman Jannick Lupescu, 46 63 64. No 15 Sekou Bangoura of the USA gave the American fans a match to remember, surviving a tough encounter against big-hitting George Morgan of Great Britan. Having lost the first set, 18-year-old Bangoura came back to win the following two, but he frittered away two match points on his serve at 5-3 in the third set and had to fight hard in a dramatic tie-break before winning 46 62 76. Yucatan Cup champion, American fifth seed Mitchell Frank dispatched Oliver Golding of Great Britain with a straight sets victory, 75 75, and will play his compatriot Jack Sock, who advanced into the fourth round with an easy victory over fellow-countryman Dennis Novikov, 75 61.

In the girls’ competition, world number one 16-year-old Kristina Mladenovic of France showed her impressive form as she dismantled No 14 Valeria Solovieva of Russia 64 61. The Roland Garros champion, who has an excellent forehand, will now meet unseeded Madison Keys of the USA in a rematch of the Banana Bowl semifinal. 15-year-old Keys, who claimed the title at the Coffee Bowl last January, produced the major upset on Day 4 at Crandon Park as she knocked out last week’s Eddie Herr champion Daria Gavrilova of Russia, winning 63 46 63. Third seed Heather Watson of Great Britain continued her run with a three set win over No 13 Saisai Zheng of China, 61 36 63. Sixth seed Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia also advanced to the quarterfinals but she needed three sets to overcome aggressive Yulia Putintseva of Russia, the winner of the Grade 1 Santa Croce sull’Arno. Casablanca Cup champion Tomljanovic lost the first set but managed to dig herself out of trouble with a powerful ground game and an excellent serve, triumphing 57 60 61. In the bottom half of the girls’ draw, Adriana Perez of Venezuela outplayed Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand 06 64 63 and Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada won against American Ellen Tsay, 61 62. No 8 Nastja Kolar of Slovenia continued her great campaign in Key Biscayne as she beat Lauren Davis of the USA 62 63 and moved into the quarterfinals without losing a set. She will now face wild card Robin Anderson from Matawan, New Jersey, who defeated compatriot Nicole Gibbs for the first time in her career.


Top seeded girls survive the heat in Miami.

It was easy to find No. 1 Kristina Mladenovic at Crandon Park, her match was the one with the biggest crowd. Agents, coaches, fans and other competitors gathered around Court 8 on a sizzling hot afternoon to see the world’s top junior, a 6-foot 16-year-old from France.

Mladenovic already turned pro, and is ranked No. 201 on the WTA Tour. She looked like a pro — speed, powerful groundstrokes, court smarts, stylish dress and long, blonde braid — as she overtook Jessica Ren of Great Britain 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Mladenovic also had to battle the unseasonably hot temperature, which reached 87 degrees Wednesday in Key Biscayne. The players took a little break between sets to get hydrated.

Mladenovic won the 2009 junior French Open title, and reached the junior Wimbledon final, where she lost to her doubles partner, Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand. She has made $82,036 in her first year on tour. She is looking forward to testing her game against more pros in 2010. She admires Monica Seles’ power, Serena Williams’ serve and Elena Dementieva’s baseline game.

Her third-round opponent is Valeria Solovieva, a Russian who trains in Pembroke Pines at the Kozlov Tennis Academy. She beat Duke-bound Mary Clayton of Plantation, 6-4, 6-1.

Madison Keys of Boca Raton, playing up two age groups, took care of Canadian Katarena Paliivets, 6-0, 6-1. Keys, 14, said the heat did not bother her because she is quite used to it, and felt that the match was closer than the score indicated.

Unseeded American Nicole Gibbs upset No. 2 Timea Babos of Hungary 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 and unseeded Ellen Tsay knocked off No. 4 Silvia Njiric of Croatia 6-7, 6-3, 7-5.

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