Mladenovic Regroups for 2019
There were lots of expectations on Kristina Mladenovic heading into 2018. She had a breakthrough year in 2017 and finished the year ranked number 11 in the world in singles. Not bad for someone that had primarily been thought of as a double’s specialist. Many people thought she’d continue to progress in 2018. She’s got a smooth game, shows lots of passion on the court, and is one of the few players that has had success in both singles and doubles.
Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t really work out the way one plans. She ended 2018 ranked 48 in the world in singles. I wouldn’t say it was a terrible year for her though, as she regained focus on her doubles game, finishing number three in the world while winning the Australian Open and the WTA finals. It must be nice to be able to hedge your game with either doubles or singles, depending on the success one is having.
That being said, there’s no way Mladenovic is the number 48 ranked player in the world. She’s a top 20 at the very least. So, what’s the problem? Who knows, it seems like the women’s game is full of players that are up one day, and down another. Angelique Kerber is the perfect example. After finishing the year ranked number one in 2016, she slumped throughout 2017, until she regained form to finish 2018 strongly, capturing Wimbledon along the way to a number two ranking.
Maybe Mladenovic will regain her form from that first half of 2017, when she was consistently a top 10 player. But then again, it will be difficult for her. The game is already very different from what it was in 2017. There’s new rising talent, such as Naomi Osaka cleaning up, while players such as Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka are back in the mix. Let’s not forget about players such as Ostapenko, who also had a bit of a lackluster year in 2018. Regardless, good luck to her! It would be nice to see her back in the mix.