France holds its breath for Mladenovic, Tsonga
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 04, 2017,
Jun 04, 2017, 23:23
"I was expecting this kind of match because I played her recently, and I saw her a little bit in the few tournaments before", Muguruza said of Kontaveit.
The fourth-seeded Muguruza is trying to avoid becoming the first reigning champion at Roland Garros to lose in the second round since 2014, when she upset Serena Williams at that stage.
The pendulum swung back towards Mladenovic as she began the final set with a break and, despite her unwelcome penchant for a double fault - she racked up 16 over the course of the match - the 2016 women's doubles champion survived three break points to hold in the next.
The French tennis-supporting public will be holding its breath on Wednesday, hoping injury will not return to hamper Kristina Mladenovic as long-time crowd favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga limbers up for his biggest single game of the season.
The American fored 30 winners in the straight set win and she revealed she was happy to see Kvitova back on court after her hand was stabbed by a burglar in her home a year ago.
"'Kiki, Kiki!" yelled the crowd as Mladenovic, who is of Serbian heritage, speaks good English and cheers herself up in Italian, negotiated her way through the tricky fourth-round match. It's thanks to you that I fought for every point.
The last time a woman repeated her title at Roland Garros was Justine Henin, who won the Grand Slam event for three consecutive years from 2005-07. And we're in the quarterfinals.
But she added: "I'm not here to create enemies".
It was the first time in the Open era that two Asian men had met as late as the third round in a Grand Slam tournament.
Williams, the 2002 runner-up who turns 37 next month, will play Belgium's Elise Mertens or Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp in the third round. Nadal dominated No. 17 Robert Bautista Agut, winning in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
Only once in his Grand Slam career did Nadal fare better on the way to the quarterfinals at a major: He lost 19 games through four matches in 2012 at the French Open.
Having defied a bad back to beat Jennifer Brady 9-7 in the third set in the first round, Mladenovic trailed Shelby Rogers 5-2 in the decider on Friday but recovered to win 7-5 4-6 8-6.