So happy for Kristina! after a tough battle in the morning vs Bencic she manages to beat Barty and score a TOP10 WIN!
she seemed a bit tired at times in the 2nd set, this game to make it 4-2 was CRUCIAL cause Barty was fighting hard
through to QF to face winner of Kvitova/Sakkari
No, she was not tired at all. She was so ready for this match.
I watched both matches and saw 2 different Mladenovic.
It was very frustrating watching her play Bencic. Kiki was stuck at the baseline, trying to rally with Bencic. It was a boring match. Both players stuck back and playing like it was a practice drill to see who can hit more balls. I was asking myself, why does a coach let a player play like this? Why doesn't Kiki move forwards, step inside the court and hit those balls? With the kind of big shots she has, she could take out Bencic cold.
As a Kiki fan, I was just annoyed with the kind of boring tennis she was playing. She is lucky to win that match against Bencic. The minute she broke Bencic for 4-1 in that 2nd set, I knew Bencic would get angry and overheat... and the match would be over. Bencic had opportunities to break early on and had she done so, I don't think she would have let Kiki back in the match.
Second match against Barty: it was like day and night. Either Sasha made some correction, or Kiki decided not to stay back and rally.
She was a totally different player. Playing from the baseline and constantly moving forwards, taking the balls early. Everything I criticized in the first game was corrected.
Barty had no chance to setup her shots. Kiki was right inside the court every time, hitting, looking for short balls, drop shots, volleys ... a complete tennis game she didn't play against Bencic.
Either Sasha had a talk with her, or she decided to play a different game because it was her second match and she didn't want to play long points. Either way, it was a nice adjustment from the first match. Kiki dominated Barty from start to finish. I was very elated. Hope this was not a "I am tired so let me move forward and hit" mindset.
I hope she can play like this in her next matches. She might lose but she is a much better player when she plays like she did against Barty.
Barty was not bad at all. Kiki just didn't give her time to setup her shots. Many times she threatened to take over but Kiki would come up with a devastating serve or winner to push Barty right back in the corner.
I really enjoyed this 2nd match.
Go Kiki, Go Sasha, let's try to win one more match...
But if it doesn't work out, please don't stop playing this "forward moving style". It makes your work look so much easier.
Good Luck !!!!!!!!!