Kristina Mladenovic called for video technology to be available to tennis umpires after being on the wrong end of a glaring error at the French Open that Martina Navratilova described as "awful".

The French player was leading 5-1 and had a point for the first set against Laura Siegemund of Germany on Court Philippe-Chatrier, the tournament's main arena, when she hit a drop shot that looked set to be a winner.

A scrambling Siegemund got to the ball, but it bounced for a second time just before she scooped it over the net. Mladenovic charged forward and swatted the ball away decisively but also collided with the net in doing so.

That cost Mladenovic the point ultimately, as umpire Eva Asderaki had not spotted the double bounce and would not accept the protests of the home player who lost her focus and surrendered the match 7-5 6-3.

While Siegemund controversially reached the second round, there were also wins on day three at Roland Garros for seeds including Sofia Kenin, as well as former champion Jelena Ostapenko.

'SHE DIDN'T DO HER JOB'

Mladenovic had every right to feel aggrieved by the double-bounce incident, although losing in straight sets from such a dominant position was far from clever.

At the recent US Open, she led Russian Varvara Gracheva 6-1 5-1 in round two but also managed to lose, dropping the deciding set 6-0, and this was another grand slam let-down for the former world number 10.

Asked about the idea of video technology being introduced in Paris, Mladenovic said: "This would avoid mistakes like the one I experienced today. The error is human and it's a shame to want to replace the human being with the camera, but I don't understand how the umpire could not have seen the ball and the reactions.

"She didn't do her job. I told her to watch the replay afterwards, but that won't change anything. She [the umpire] continues at Roland Garros, not me."

Mladenovic said she had no grievance with Siegemund, and said the onus was not on the German player to hold up her hand.

"She would have been the best and most fair player on the tour if she would have done that," Mladenovic said in a news conference.

"Unfortunately, she didn't. I didn't expect her to do it. But if she would have done it, she would have all my respect and be super-fair play. But she's not the one responsible. I think the chair umpire is the one that should be really focused on that call."

Navratilova, who won two of her 18 grand slam singles titles at the French Open, took in the drama and wrote on Twitter: "That was awful- the ump who is usually great missed that one.

"And in the old days we would have called it on ourselves but these days it’s different. For sure Siegemund knew she didn’t get it on the first bounce et voila- it totally turned the match as Mladenovic knew it… shame."

OSTAPENKO NEXT FOR 'TERRIBLE' PLISKOVA

Second seed Pliskova served eight double faults and had 46 unforced errors in her 6-7 (9-11) 6-2 6-4 win over Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif.

She was not hiding afterwards from the fact it was a poor display, given her lofty stature in the game, but Pliskova was just glad to survive an off day.

"No matter how terrible was my level, I still somehow believed," she said.

Pliskova, who is contending with a thigh problem, faces the unseeded former champion Jelena Ostapenko next, in what is an appetising second-round clash.

Ostapenko's 2017 Roland Garros triumph came ostensibly out of the blue, given her hard-hitting but erratic game. On the weeks and fortnights when she finds her range, she can be formidable.

First-round defeats in 2018 and 2019 followed the title-winning year for Ostapenko at the French Open, but a 6-2 6-1 win over American Madison Brengle was an eye-catching result on Tuesday.

"With Jelena, we had some good matches, some strange matches," Pliskova said. "I think she's a lot up and down but for sure she can just play well."

 

KENIN BANISHES ROME 'DISASTER'

Sofia Kenin admitted her 'double bagel' defeat to Victoria Azarenka in Rome had been hard to swallow, so the Australian Open winner was relieved to get back to winning ways.

Kenin lost 6-0 6-0 to Azarenka less than a fortnight ago but the fourth seed at Roland Garros showed battling spirit to beat Ludmilla Samsonova 6-4 3-6 6-3 in an hour and 58 minutes of a rain-interrupted clash on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

"After Rome, that's a match that I never want to watch," Kenin said. "Of course, Vika played really well.

"After that, we came to Paris and I had a week or so to practise, get used to the clay. I just tried to not think about that match. It was kind of a disaster."

TEENAGER TAUSON OUTLASTS BRADY

The year may be one that many would rather forget, but Jennifer Brady has had the season of her life. Her hopes of French Open success were dashed immediately, however, when the American became a first-round casualty.

Landing her first WTA Tour title in Lexington in August was followed by Brady reaching the US Open semi-finals, but the 21st seed fell to 17-year-old Danish qualifier Clara Tauson in Paris, suffering a 6-4 3-6 9-7 defeat.

Tauson later wrote on Instagram: "Young girl big dreams... toughest match of my life. See you in round [two]."

Kristina Mladenovic hit out at her "atrocious" US Open conditions following an incredible second-round collapse, saying she felt like a prisoner or criminal after coming into contact with Benoit Paire.

Mladenovic had to enter what she described as "a bubble within the bubble" at Flushing Meadows after practicing and playing cards with compatriot men's star Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

The 27-year-old looked to have adjusted well to the strange setting as she beat Hailey Baptiste in the first round and then led Varvara Gracheva 6-1 5-1 in the second.

But Mladenovic was remarkably beaten 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-0, losing her way completely in the decider after allowing Gracheva to recover in the second set.

The 2015 US Open quarter-finalist pulled no punches after the match as she said she lost "partly because of the conditions" and revealed her regret at entering the tournament due to the way she felt she had been treated due to her association with Paire.

"The third set, I can't describe how I feel. It's distress, really," Mladenovic said. "We should sit down and make a list of what we are going through.

"It's not even acceptable what they do. The third set is a total collapse. I'm going to stop there, I don't know what to tell you.

"How can I tell you [the details]? Even to take a step to the right, they have to ask permission. We have no freedom of movement, no identity. I have the impression that we are prisoners, criminals.

"For any movement, they have to ask if we have the right to do it, even though we are tested every day and have had 30 negative tests. It's abominable, the conditions are atrocious.

"If I had known that playing cards for 40 minutes, with a mask, with a player who tested positive and then finally negative, would have these consequences, I would never have played this tournament."

Top seed Karolina Pliskova crashed out of the US Open, while Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova advanced on Wednesday.

A former finalist in New York, Pliskova bowed out in the second round at Flushing Meadows.

It came on what was a mixed day for the seeds in the women's draw at the grand slam, which is being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the likes of Osaka, Kvitova and Angelique Kerber progressed without dropping a set.

 

PLISKOVA CRASHES OUT

Runner-up in 2016, Pliskova fell to Caroline Garcia 6-1 7-6 (7-2) after one hour, 33 minutes.

Garcia, who reached fourth in the world rankings in 2018, produced 30 winners and just 17 unforced errors in an impressive win.

"In the second set I had set point. That was definitely one ball I could make. I had second serve on my forehand," Pliskova said.

"Maybe I should just play rally. I tried to go for it. It was a little bit windy on the court. I think she played amazing set and a half. Of course, I got my chances later in the second set. I didn't play good, so that's it."

Garcia will next face 28th seed Jennifer Brady, who thrashed CiCi Bellis 6-1 6-2 in just 51 minutes.

 

OSAKA, KVITOVA AND KERBER MOVE THROUGH

Osaka, the 2018 champion and fourth seed, was far too strong for Camila Giorgi in a 6-1 6-2 victory.

The Japanese two-time grand slam winner capitalised on a wayward display from Giorgi, who finished with 24 unforced errors.

"Just playing Camila, I haven't played her in a while, but I know that she goes for things," Osaka said. "For me it's really helpful mentally just because I know she's capable of finishing points.

"It gives me motive to play better, so she's not able to hit winners."

Awaiting Osaka in the third round is Marta Kostyuk after the Ukrainian teenager eliminated 31st seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Kvitova, the Czech sixth seed, was tested before getting past Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

Meanwhile, 17th seed Kerber beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-3 7-6 (8-6) in an all-German affair.

 

MLADENOVIC IN EPIC COLLAPSE

Kristina Mladenovic looked set for an easy passage into the third round against Russian Varvara Gracheva.

Mladenovic led 6-1 5-1 before an incredible collapse saw her beaten in three sets.

Gracheva saved four match points in the second set before claiming a 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 victory.

Mladenovic was one of seven seeds to fall on Wednesday, with Dayana Yastremska, Alison Riske, Elena Rybakina and Marketa Vondrousova joining Pliskova and Sevastova in exiting.

Kristina Mladenovic revealed she has had to enter a "bubble bubble" at the US Open after coming into contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

Paire was removed from the men's singles draw after the United States Tennis Association (USTA) on Sunday confirmed an unnamed player had returned a positive COVID-19 test.

As the grand slam got under way behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows on Monday, it was reported a number of French players had to abide by strict quarantine rules because they were in contact with compatriot Paire.

Mladenovic confirmed she must adhere to tighter regulations in New York after she beat Hailey Baptiste 7-5 6-2 on day one of the tournament.

Asked if she had been in contact with Paire, she said: "I did a one-hour training session with Benoît a few days ago, but we were on either side of the net, and that is not taken into account. 

"On the other hand, I also spent between half an hour and three quarters of an hour, in the hotel lobby, playing cards with different people. Benoit was there. 

"It was the fact of having passed that moment, even though we were all masked, that led to the continuation. It was hard for me to accept the situation because I am not part of his close entourage. And I'm sorry and sad for Benoit."

Quizzed how her situation has changed, Mladenovic replied: "I have the right to play my match, but I literally have the right to do nothing else. 

"I am not allowed to go to the gym, not to do anything that is public inside the bubble. I can only be completely alone with my brother, who coaches me. It's really a bubble within the bubble."

Mladenovic revealed she had returned two negative COVID-19 tests since it was revealed Paire had tested positive.

Sofia Kenin avoided a shock second-round exit at the Lyon Open, saving a match point as she came from a set and a break down to beat Jacqueline Cristian on Thursday.

Australian Open champion Kenin dug in to avoid a straight-sets loss to 174-ranked Cristian and clinch a 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-4 triumph that booked a quarter-final clash with Oceane Dodin, who received a walkover from Jil Teichmann due to the Swiss' ankle injury.

The world number five acknowledged she was not at her best against the Romanian qualifier, who she has practiced with and played doubles alongside at the Internationaux de Strasbourg two years ago.

"She's a tough player. I was just fighting every point. I obviously wasn't playing my best but she was playing some really good tennis, so I'm just happy to have won," Kenin said in an on-court interview.

"I played doubles with her two years ago in Strasbroug and I've hit with her so I know her, we're good friends."

Cristian staved off a set point in the opener before edging the tie-break with a sublime backhand, and she looked on course for victory when she engineered a match point at 5-3 in the second.

Kenin denied Cristian with a drive volley and then stopped her serving out the contest in the next game, with that momentum enabling her to take the match the distance.

After failing to hold serve for the win, Kenin produced a powerful cross-court forehand to claim a decisive break in the third and book her place in the next round.

Daria Kasatkina overcame Irina Bara 6-3 6-2 and Viktoria Kuzmova downed Tereza Martincova 6-4 4-6 6-4 to reach the last eight.

Kristina Mladenovic overcame a poor start to beat wildcard Chloe Paquet in an all-French first-round encounter at the Lyon Open on Tuesday.

Mladenovic racked up 14 double faults but stormed back to beat her 166-ranked compatriot 1-6 6-2 6-4.

Half of those double faults came in a one-sided opening set, which Mladenovic put behind her to seal victory in two hours and 12 minutes.

The second seed, who will now face Anna-Lena Friedsam, said: "It was definitely not an easy match to face a countrywoman and also a friend, even though I don't know as much about her in the tennis - like, how she plays.

"It's never easy to start a tournament and we never played each other before, so it wasn't easy.

"It was very far from perfect but I'm just pleased with how I stayed calm and composed and how I fought through to find solutions to get the win."

There were no surprises on the second day of main-draw matches, with seventh seed Daria Kasatkina defeating Pauline Parmentier 6-2 5-7 6-4.

Jil Teichmann dumped out Clara Burel 6-4 6-3, while Viktoria Kuzmova, Camila Giorgi, Tereza Martincova and Viktoriya Tomova also progressed.

 

 

Top seed Simona Halep saved a match point in a gripping battle with Ons Jabeur before sealing her place in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Halep was on the brink of a surprise defeat to the in-form world number 45, but hung in there to win a thriller 1-6 6-2 7-6 (9-7) on Wednesday.

The two-time grand slam champion and Jabeur were given great backing from passionate Romanian and Tunisian supporters in a pulsating contest that swung one way and the other.

Halep appeared destined to complete the turnaround with ease when she led 3-0 in the final set, but the tenacious Jabeur was relishing the battle and showed great spirit to take the upper hand at 6-5.

The unseeded Jabeur was broken to love when serving for the match, though, and a double-fault gifted 2015 champion Halep a 4-2 lead in the tie-break, yet there was more drama to come.

Jabeur fended off three match points to earn one of her own, but Halep showed her grit to win the next two points before her gutsy opponent drilled a forehand long to end a tense two-hour contest.

Halep will face Aryna Sabalenka in the last eight after the seventh seed defeated Elise Mertens 6-4 6-3.

Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza advanced with a hard-fought Veronika Kudermetova, winning 7-5 4-6 6-4 two days after knocking out the returning Kim Clijsters.

Elena Rybakina, a three-time finalist this year, got the better of Katerina Siniakova for the second successive week, a 6-3, 6-3 victory setting up a meeting with Karolina Pliskova.

Second seed Pliskova lost just three games in emphatic defeat of Kristina Mladenovic, while Petra Martic, Jennifer Brady and Anett Kontaveit were also victorious.

Venus Williams' clash with Coco Gauff headlines the Australian Open first round, but former champion Stan Wawrinka also faces an early test in Melbourne.

Williams and Gauff will meet for the second time in what is a blockbuster opening-round encounter.

But there are several intriguing clashes in the first round at the year's first grand slam and we take a look at six of the best.

 

Damir Dzumhur v Stan Wawrinka [15]

Wawrinka would have preferred a friendlier draw than a man he has lost to in two of their three meetings. The Swiss 2014 champion was resurgent last year, while Dzumhur has been unable to replicate the form of his breakout season in 2017. Still, the Bosnian beat Wawrinka in three sets on clay in Geneva last year so the three-time grand slam champion will have to be near his best.

Daniil Medvedev [4] v Frances Tiafoe

Tiafoe thrilled during a run to the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year, but that would prove to be the high point of his 2019. The American has made a slow start to 2020 with first-round losses in Doha and Auckland, but was competitive against Medvedev in a 6-2 7-5 loss in Washington last year. After a spectacular 2019 that included reaching the US Open final, Medvedev shapes as the most likely to stop the 'Big Three', although he will need to get through a somewhat tricky opener first.

Sam Querrey v Borna Coric [25]

While he has dropped off since 2017, Querrey will fancy his chances against Coric after the Croatian's difficult finish to last year. Coric finished 2019 with six straight losses and suffered two more at the ATP Cup, to go with a win over Dominic Thiem. After four consecutive first-round exits in Melbourne, Coric reached the fourth round last year, while Querrey has never been beyond the third round in Melbourne. Coric won their only previous meeting at the French Open in 2015.

Venus Williams v Coco Gauff

Arguably the pick of any first-round match, the 39-year-old Williams meets the 15-year-old Gauff once more. Gauff stunned Williams 6-4 6-4 at Wimbledon last year and her ranking then (313) compared to now (66) tells the story of how she finished 2019 as the teenager followed it up with a title win in Linz. Williams withdrew from Brisbane due to injury, making this a hugely tough task for the seven-time grand slam singles champion.

Kristina Mladenovic v Karolina Pliskova [2]

Pliskova has enjoyed Melbourne in recent years, reaching at least the quarter-finals in each of the past three, but was handed a tough start in 2020. The Czech is coming off a title win in Brisbane and that will give her much-needed confidence ahead of facing former world number 10 Mladenovic. The pair have split their previous four meetings, with Mladenovic winning the last of those in 2017.

Donna Vekic [19] v Maria Sharapova

A wildcard, Sharapova was always going to be the danger in the draw – and she landed alongside 19th seed Vekic. Vekic enjoyed a fine 2019 to rise into the world's top 20, while Sharapova battled injuries and has fallen to 145th in the rankings. Vekic should be the favourite to advance, but if five-time major winner Sharapova can find some form, the Russian is always a threat and last bowed out in the opening round in Melbourne in 2010.

Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia made up for their painful 2016 Fed Cup final defeat as the pair overcame Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur to secure France's third title.

Barty was flawless as she drew Australia level on day one with a 6-0 6-0 triumph over Garcia, but the world number one failed to recapture her form on Saturday as the hosts went down 3-2.

WTA Finals champion Barty started well in Perth and looked to be on the verge of another dominant win when she went a set up against Mladenovic in her singles rubber, yet it was the world number 40 who proved the star of day two.

After a sensational 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-1) comeback victory over Barty, Mladenovic starred alongside Garcia as France clinched the trophy with a 6-4 6-3 doubles win, three years on from the same pairing suffering defeat to the Czech Republic in a decider.

"There are lots of emotions, to share this with Caro," Mladenovic said after a superb, instinctive volley from Garcia had proved too much for Barty's partner Samantha Stosur to handle on France's third match point.

"Three years ago we failed on the last step of the tie and we just wanted to take revenge for ourselves. It's indescribable how we feel right now."

Ajla Tomljanovic had stepped up for Australia by overcoming Pauline Parmentier 6-4 7-5 in Saturday's second singles contest to set up the grandstand finish, before Barty and Stosur made a fine start in the decider with an immediate break.

However, Mladenovic and Garcia rallied to draw level at 2-2 and a second break handed them the opening set.

Successive concessions of serve from the Australians put France into a commanding position in the second set, with Barty and Stosur subsequently failing to take advantage of three break points in the next game.

France were in no mood to let victory slip out of their grasp and – after Australia clawed back two match points to hold serve – Garcia's reactions got the better of Stosur, sparking jubilant celebrations from Julien Benneteau's team.

"I'm the proudest man on the planet right now," France's captain said. "It's a dream for me. I'm going to have a lot of beers!"

World number one Ashleigh Barty crushed Caroline Garcia 6-0 6-0 to square the Fed Cup final at 1-1 at the end of play on Saturday.

Australia trailed France following the opening rubber but were back level just 56 minutes after Barty took to the court in Perth.

The WTA Finals champion sent down eight aces and hit 15 winners to set up a blockbuster showdown with Kristina Mladenovic, who earlier breezed past Ajla Tomljanovic.

Mladenovic broke serve in the opening game and never looked back in a convincing 6-1 6-1 victory, but will have a tougher time getting past an in-form Barty on Sunday.

"I couldn't have asked for a more perfect match," the Australian said after seeing off Garcia.

"I think that's probably the best tennis match I've ever played in my life and what a place to do it, this is incredible. I'm so happy to be back here in Perth. I started my year here, so it's a hell of a way to finish it off too."

Barty is due to partner veteran Sam Stosur in the doubles, with Mladenovic and Garcia to team up for France.

Kiki Bertens look set to miss out on the WTA Finals following a Kremlin Cup quarter-final defeat to Kristina Mladenovic, which left the door open for Belinda Bencic to make her Shenzhen debut.

Bertens missed out on a place in the last four in Moscow when she was beaten 6-4 2-6 6-1 by the unseeded Mladenovic.

The second seed will require a withdrawal to feature in the season-ending tournament in China after failing to climb above the eighth-placed Serena Williams in the standings.

Mladenovic mixed up her game with skill and intelligence and faces a semi-final showdown with Bencic next.

Bencic will move ahead of both Bertens and Williams to grab a Shenzhen spot if she records one more win following a 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 result against qualifier Kirsten Flipkens on Friday.

The Swiss third seed, who has never played in the WTA Finals, drew on her fighting spirit to come from 4-1 down in the opening set and edged a tie-break after saving two set points, then dominated the second set.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Karolina Muchova will contest the other semi-final after getting the better of Veronika Kudermetova and Ekaterina Alexandrova respectively.

Meanwhile, defending champion Julia Goerges rallied from a set down to beat Monica Puig 1-6 6-2 6-3 and reach the last four of the Luxembourg Open.

The German will take on Elena Rybakina, a 6-0 6-4 winner against Laura Siegemund, while Jelena Ostapenko and Anna Blinkova will also do battle for a place in the final.

 

 

Camila Giorgi bageled Andrea Petkovic in the first set of their first-round match at the Luxembourg Open, but the sixth seed was still eliminated.

Giorgi took just 24 minutes to wrap up the opener and yet Petkovic, a semi-finalist at the Linz Open last week, bounced back, coming from a break down late in the third set to advance.

Fiona Ferro won a solitary game as Monica Puig swatted the seventh seed aside 6-1 6-0, with Alison Van Uytvanck, ranked fourth in Luxembourg, also out having retired in her match against Monica Niculescu when leading 4-2 in the first set.

However, top seed Elise Mertens and third seed Elena Rybakina made it through in straight sets.

Defending champion Daria Kasatkina was knocked out of the Kremlin Cup by fifth seed Dayana Yastremska, the teenager building on a 5-0 lead in the opener to win 6-1 6-4.

Elsewhere, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who won the tournament in 2014, came from behind to oust seventh seed Maria Sakkari in a 5-7 6-1 6-3 triumph.

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