First French competitor in this US Open, Kristina Mladenovic quietly dominated the American Hailey Baptiste (7-5, 6-2) in the first round. Enough to bring back a smile to the French delegation, marked by the positive test for Covid-19 of Benoît Paire.
On paper, it was a formality. Opposed to a young American, Hailey Baptiste (18, 236th world), Kristina Mladenovic was the big favorite of her first round US Open meeting. And the French n ° 1 has imposed itself quite quietly (7-5, 6-2), showing itself superior to its opponent despite a perfectible service (9 double faults, 26% of points won behind the second ball) .
Still, Mladenovic’s liberating cry of joy after the game speaks volumes about the tension inside him. “The last few days have been full of emotions,” explained the Northerner on the court. I don’t know what to say or what to say… We’ve waited so long to resume competition, so far I’m just happy to play tennis. Of course, the conditions are strange, we miss the audience. And we got some bad news inside the bubble, I wasn’t sure if I could come and play. Finally, I am there and I managed to get out of it. ”
Funny atmosphere among the French
Mladenovic refers to the positive test for Covid-19 suffered by Benoît Paire, which forced the organizers to increase health prevention measures, in particular by forcing four French people to remain in solitary confinement (Richard Gasquet, Adrian Mannarino, Grégoire Barrère and Edouard Roger-Vasselin). Even if they learned this Monday morning that they were well authorized to compete in the tournament (unlike Paire), the French delegation, already reduced with the many packages (Monfils, Tsonga, Pouille, Herbert, Ferro …), n ‘ did not need this twist of fate.
Fortunately, Mladenovic, the only French seed with Adrian Mannarino in the men, held his place and started the machine well. She will face Russian Varvara Gracheva (102nd in the world) in the second round.
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