Mladenovic stuns Goerges in Paris
PARIS, Jan 30: French teenager Kristina Mladenovic delighted home fans as she clawed her way back from the brink of defeat to beat seventh-seeded Julia Goerges 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 in the opening round at the Paris Open on Tuesday.
Goerges, ranked 19th, seemed set for victory, with the German serving for the match at 5-3 up in the third, but Mladenovic forced a tie-break.
It is only the second time that 19-year-old Mladenovic has beaten a top 20 player. Mladenovic, who is ranked No 87, will face either Yanina Wickmayer or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
“It’s already my nicest victory this season,” Mladenovic said. “Even better looking at the circumstances: here at Coubertin in front of my family, my friends, against Julia who is in the top 20.”
Excited after recording her best win to date on the WTA Tour, Mladenovic jumped the gun in revealing that she has been called up to France’s Federation Cup squad for next month’s tie against Germany 24 hours ahead of the official announcement by new team captain Amelie Mauresmo.
“I found out that I had been selected just before the match,” she said.
“That could have put extra pressure on me, but maybe Amelie just wanted to test me and put a little element of doubt in the minds of the Germans.”
Meanwhile, Australian Open doubles champion Roberta Vinci cruised through the opening round as she brushed aside Romania’s Simona Halep 6-0, 6-3.
Vinci, who sealed her third Grand Slam doubles crown alongside partner and fellow Italian Sara Errani in Melbourne last Friday, powered past a hapless Halep in just 52 minutes to set up a second-round match with Germany’s Mona Barthel.
Results (prefix number denotes seeding):
First round: 5-Roberta Vinci (Italy) bt Simona Halep (Romania) 6-0, 6-3; Kristina Mladenovic (France) bt 7-Julia Goerges (Germany) 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4); Alize Cornet (France) bt Sofia Arvidsson (Sweden) 6-3, 4-6, 6-0; Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) bt Monica Niculescu (Romania) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3); Stefanie Voegele (Switzerland) bt Tsvetana Pironkova (Bulgaria) 6-4,