WTA Eastbourne: Kristina Mladenovic stuns fourth seed Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets

The matchup between Timea Bacsinszky and Kristina Mladenovic was the first match on court one with both players vying for a spot in the round of 16. The fourth seed Bacsinszky had received a bye in the earlier round and was competing in her first match on grass this year. Mladenovic, on the other hand, had a routine first round win over Yanina Wickmayer.

The Frenchwoman was solid right from the start, taking the first set 6-1 in emphatic fashion. She got an early lead in the second set but the Swiss came fighting back to level 4-4. However, Mladenovic found one more break which did the trick as she completed a 6-1, 7-5 victory over the fourth seed to progress to the round of 16.

Consistent serving from Mladenovic seals the set

Mladenovic made a bright start to the match, breaking early for a 2-0 lead. Bacsinszky had a chance to break right back but squandered it away as the Frenchwoman went on to consolidate for a comfortable 3-0 lead. The Swiss was struggling to find her serves and groove and succumbed to a double break trailing 0-4.

Mladenovic surges ahead in the first set | Photo: Glyn Kirk/Getty Images
Mladenovic surges ahead in the first set | Photo: Glyn Kirk/Getty Images

Mladenovic was in control of her games and kept errors to a minimum as she served her way to a staggering 5-0 lead over the fourth seed. Bacsinszky eventually found her footing, seeing that it was her first match on grass this season, as she got off the mark for 1-5. The Frenchwoman though was able to serve out the set without much trouble, needing just less than half an hour.

Bacsinszky fights back but errors cost her 

The Swiss got off to a decent start holding her serve with relative ease and went on to earn a couple of break point after a loose forehand from Mladenovic. The serve out-wide which had been working throughout the first set came to the Frenchwoman’s rescue as she saved one of them. A Mladenovic forehand did the rest as she went on to hold for 1-1.

Bacsinszky once again struggled on serve and handed the Frenchwoman with two early chances to break. The Swiss was fighting hard as she fended off both chances but Mladenovic was relentless, and on her fourth opportunity she broke down Bacsinszky’s defence to break for 2-1. The Swiss was eager to find the break back, putting the Frenchwoman under some pressure in the fourth game but Mladenovic hung on to extend her lead to 3-1.

It just didn’t seem to be going for Bacsinszky, who was in trouble yet again. However, this time, she survived to keep in touch with the Frenchwoman at 2-3. Bacsinszky was not going down without a fight though, creating chances but just falling short to find the break back. The Swiss eventually did, though, grabbing the opportunity with aplomb in the eighth game to get back on terms for 4-4.

Bacsinszky finds a way to get back into the set | Photo: Glyn Kirk/Getty Images
Bacsinszky finds a way to get back into the set | Photo: Glyn Kirk/Getty Images

The set saw some wonderful exchanges between the two as both women held their serve. Before long, it was Bacsinszky who was serving for a 6-5 lead. However, the Swiss’ errors cost her in the end as she allowed Mladenovic to find the crucial break. And serving for the set, the Frenchwoman made no mistake to seal off a huge win.