Re: Kristina Mladenovic !!!!!
She did well, it was a pretty nice match. Tiebreak serving was poor, and she also doublefaulted to go down a break in the second set.
Kristina is one of those players who generally does a good job of standing up to top players and giving them a tough match. Still, winning consistently on the tour and challenging top players are two separate skills. Kristina hits a big ball so she can avoid being blown off the court, unlike many other players. But when she plays weaker players she needs a slightly different skill set to beat them safely. Honestly, I see some improvements in her groundstrokes- her first serve is as always quite a weapon but the second serve is not reliable enough and does not have enough spin. I wonder how far she can go. Needs to improve her movement quite a bit, it didn't show up that much today because Sharapova engaged her in a hitting war, but in a movement battle with a consistent rallier she will need to move better.
Her return of serve esp on the forehand was not reliable enough either. And it took her too long to start covering Maria's serve up the T on the ad side.