Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic will be up against Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in their third round match at the WTA Dubai Open 2019. The two unseeded women will lock horns on Wednesday afternoon at around 1.30 pm local time (9.30 am BST).
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Kristina Mladenovic v Carla Suarez Navarro Head to Head
Four previous matches between Mladenovic and Navarro have left the Spaniard with a 3-1 lead. Maldenovic’s only win came on clay at the 2017 Stuttgart Open while Navarro’s most recent victory against her was at the 2018 US Open, in a second round match that culminated into a tough three-setter.
Mladenovic High after Osaka Shocker
Before coming into this tournament, Mladenovic had had a rotten run. After having ended the previous year with a defeat in the quarter-finals of the $100k tournament in Dubai, she suffered four successive match one losses in 2019.
These defeats came at the Brisbane International to Destanee Aiava, Kimberly Birell at the qualifiers of the Sydney International, Australian Open to Donna Vekic and St. Petersburg to Jelena Ostapenko. So when the world number 67 entered this tournament in Dubai, not a lot was expected out of her.
There was an easy first round opponent in the form of Fatma Al Nabhani, whom she demolished 6-1, 6-1 to register the first win of her season before she ran into what would be her sternest test. Probably of her career.
Instead of getting intimidated though, Mladenovic demolished the current world number Naomi Osaka in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. And in doing so, she has served off a warning to any future opponents she is here to stay, especially now that she has worked on her first serve.
At her press conference, she has admitted she has changed her serve and it would be interesting to see whether her opponent in the next round is challenged by that.
Easy Draw for Navarro…So Far!
While Navarro’s form this season hasn’t been as dramatically bad as Mladenovic’s, going into this tournament, she hadn’t registered back to back wins in any of the four tournaments she had participated in this season.
And now that Osaka has been knocked out, her draw looks to be the easiest as she hunts for a place in the quarter-finals. Two straight-set wins over Barbora Strycova and Shuai Zhang have led her to her first set of successive wins and given her record against Mladenovic, she would be confident of stretching that over to a third victory.
However, she would not just have to guard against the Frenchwoman’s changed serve but also any complacency that could have built up as she looks to soldier on and face the winner of the Svitolina-Muguruza encounter.
Mladenovic v Navarro Predictions & Tips
Expect this to be a tough, gruelling match that goes the distance given Navarro’s hold over her opponent and Mladenovic’s changed gameplay and high confidence. Going for a three-set match here for which bet365 is offering 13/8.
You can watch & bet on Kristina Mladenovic v Carla Suarez Navarro on Wednesday, February 20 here . The match is scheduled to take place at 1.30 pm local time.