Kristina Mladenovic looking to recapture her early-season form with good run in Zhuhai

Sport360 staff 21:11 29/10/2017
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Looking to finish on a high note: Kristina Mladenovic.

Kristina Mladenovic says she is ready for a final “little push” at this week’s Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai at the end of what has been a roller coaster 2017 season for the Frenchwoman.

Her blistering form in the first half of the year included a thrilling run to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and means that, despite struggling to match those results since, this has been the best year of her career.

The 24-year-old is currently on a 10-match losing streak, and is hoping she can finish the season on a high note, following a difficult stretch over the past three months.

Mladenovic is likely to be top seed in the high quality 12-player field when the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai gets underway on Tuesday October 31 after breaking into the world’s top 10 in the year-end rankings for the first time earlier this week.

She is looking to build on that success this coming week, knowing that if she recaptures her form in Zhuhai it could provide her with the perfect foundation for next year.

“Definitely this is a chance to set the tone for 2018,” said Mladenovic.

“The second half of this season was a real struggle for me but the positive note for me is that I now feel better physically and I managed to sort out the physical problem that I had. I feel kind of refreshed. And I would like to compete better and play better and the results can also come in Zhuhai.

“Just to feel part of it is also a chance to relax in a way because it’s a great achievement and after a long year you can just give a little push and then afterwards you can absolutely relax, take time off, think with your team what was good and what was not good and start to build for the next season.”

Mladenovic claimed the first title of her career earlier this year in St. Petersburg and reached three more finals in Acapulco, Stuttgart and Madrid.

“The year was pretty big for me. Many great lessons for me, let’s say. I had a huge six months of the year and then I struggled a little bit and I was unlucky with injury but I always say that things are happening in life for a reason and at least I feel like I have learned so much from this year in every way,” she said.

“To have my best year, to be in Singapore as an alternate first of all made me extremely proud because I know many would love to be there.

“The reward is also to play in Zhuhai and I heard it’s an amazing event from some of the players who came last year. Some of those who competed there last year qualified for Singapore the following year and the other way around, so the field is very strong.

“It’s a very big event and the WTA and the organisers are putting in lots of effort. I’m actually very excited because to be in one of the year-end events is big goal. I’m looking forward to visiting the area as well because I have never been there and I’m excited to go and compete there with the other girls.”​

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