WTA Indian Wells: Yulia Putintseva Defeats Kristina Mladenovic In Straight Sets
Putintseva roars her way into the third round | Photo courtesy of: Christopher Levy

WTA Indian Wells: Yulia Putintseva Defeats Kristina Mladenovic In Straight Sets

It was another disappointing start by the 27th seed as she bowed out in the second round to the feisty Yulia Putintseva in straight sets.

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Pavitra Ganesan

Yulia Putintseva was up against Kristina Mladenovic, with the winner to possibly meet the top seed Serena Williams in the next round. Mladenovic led the head-to-head 2-1 but she struggled to get any kind of momentum. The Frenchwoman maintained her attacking style of tennis, but it was Putintseva who edged to take the first set 6-4. The second set saw seven breaks before the Kazakh held to knock out the 27th seed with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Putintseva Wins The Important Points Against Aggressive Mladenovic

It was a usual attacking display by the Frenchwoman which allowed her to get her first break points in the third game. Putintseva passed the French test to hang on for 2-2. Mladenovic followed it up with a weak game and it was the Kazakh who got the first break of the set pouncing onto a weak second serve. The break however doesn't last for long. Mladenovic was returning balls with venom and created break chance after break chance before she finally broke at the third offering hammering a forehand winner to level the set 3-3.

Mladenovic turns aggressive but fails to find a breakthrough | Photo courtesy of: Christopher Levy
Mladenovic turns aggressive but fails to find a breakthrough | Photo courtesy of: Christopher Levy

The Frenchwoman's struggles with her service game continued as two double faults handed break yet again to Putintseva. The Kazakh seemed to catch on it as well as she in turn threw a double-fault gifting double break points. Mladenovic however was unable to capitalize as Putintseva got a massive hold for a 5-3 lead. Eventually, the world number 56 closed the set blasting a backhand winner for a 6-4 win.

Both Struggled To Hold Serves Before Putintseva Stays Calm To Hold And Wins The Match

Both woman held their first service games in the second set. And it turned out to be the only holds before one more at the end of the set. Both players exchanged a flurry of breaks as neither of them could consolidate their breaks nor get a foothold in the game. The set saw more baseline rallies and Putintseva looked the more confident of the two in those exchanges. The Frenchwoman kept within reach of the Kazakh before a seventh break of the set put Putintseva within a game from winning the match.

Putintseva holds at an important moment and seals victory | Photo courtesy of: Christopher Levy
Putintseva holds at an important moment and seals victory | Photo courtesy of: Christopher Levy

Mladenovic went for her shots in the last game but it was too late as a composed Putintseva saw out the match with a sweet backhand pass. She completed a straight sets victory in under two hours.

Match Statistics

Mladenovic who usually relies on her serves was to be let down by them today as she managed to get in just 52 percent of her first serves while Putintseva was averaging a high 80 percent. 

Both had a lot of break opportunities but it was Putintseva who had better conversion rate at 50 percent to Mladenovic's 36 percent.

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