18/06/2018 – Timi and Kristina Mladenovic won in two sets against the best non-seeded pair.
|NATURE VALLEY CLASSIC (871 028 USD, GRASS), DOUBLES, ROUND 1|
|Tímea Babos, Kristina Mladenovic (Hungarian, French, 1)-Ashleigh Barty, Coco Vandeweghe (Australian, American) 7:6 (7-4), 6:3|
The match lasted 1 hour 13 minutes in Birmingham.
“Certainly this was a tough match for the first round. We had two grassy court specialists, as opponents. I’m delighted with the victory: I played very well and Kiki also played very well. It was a very high quality and stable match. I am looking forward to the singles match of Tuesday, I enjoy playing grass again” – said Timi.
We could not have imagined a heavier start, as the 1st-seeded Hungarian-French team got the best non-seeded opponent for the opening round. Ashleigh Barty had won a tournament in singles last weekend in Nottingham, while Vandeweghe had reached the last four in s’Hertogenbosch. The Australian player is ranked 9th in the world rankings in doubles, but due to the moderate (34th) position of the US-star, they must face Timi and Kristina Mladenovic in the opening round.
The 43-minute first act was very tight, both pairs served excellently. All along, Barta and Vandeweghe were in the lead, so the first and only break point of the set was also a set point. However, Timi and Kristina Mladenovic won that game to 40 minutes after 4:5, and soon came the tie-break.
In that mini game, the Hungarian-French pair won the first receiver’s point, but soon after 3-1 the result was 3-3. Timi and Kiki Mladenovic broke the opponent again after 4-4, then finished the opening act, behind the serves.
In the second set, the Hungarian-French team hold their own game after 15-40, then broke the opponent to 15. Unfortunately, in the fifth game, Timi and Kristina Mladenovic lost their serve from 40-0, but responded with winning the next receiver’s game to 0.
In the end, Timi and Kristina Mladenovic hold the last service game to 15.