Kristina Mladenovic took on Lauren Davis with both looking to enter the quarterfinals at Indian Wells for the first time. Both players have had an impressive year so far with a title each and were looking to make an impact here. Mladenovic was the sharper of the two posing her aggressive style to great effect to clinch the first set. Her level dropped in the second and it was much tighter affair but a late break allowed the Frenchwoman to continue her winning ways to beat Davis 6-3, 6-3.
Mladenovic powers her way through
It was a set of great tennis from the Frenchwoman except for a blip towards the end. Choosing to receive paid dividends as she immediately broke the American’s serve. Mladenovic then found herself in a spot of trouble but managed to fire winners to come back from 0-30 to consolidate the break. Davis got her game going holding serve for 1-2.
The American, however, had another tough service game throwing a couple of errors to hand double break points to the Frenchwoman. And Mladenovic capitalized to get the double break as Davis could only net the return. The Frenchwoman was comfortable in her service games and went on to extend her lead to 5-1. The pressure was piling on the American who hit an unfortunate double fault gifting Mladenovic with set point. Davis though managed to salvage the set point and hung on for 2-5 to force the Frenchwoman to serve for the set herself.
Mladenovic who thus far had been solid on her serve had a stumble facing her first break point of the match after hitting a double fault. She sent her subsequent shot long giving Davis a break back and a brief lifeline. The American though was unable to close the gap on her serve as handing the Frenchwoman double set points. Davis fended off the first with a good serve but an error then allowed Mladenovic to wrap up the first set 6-3.
Tighter set but Mladenovic finds a way
Davis got just the start needed earning break points in the first game of the second set. Mladenovic bravely saved both but was soon under pressure and was broken. That break did not last for long though as the Frenchwoman responded immediately and broke right back after hammering a huge return.
The next few games proceeded with serve as the match tightened up. Mladenovic’s level dropped in the seventh game though and she struggled to get first serves in. Despite that, she carved out game point and fired an ace to close out the game to edge in front for 4-3. It was then the American’s turn to struggle on serve and she hit a double fault to hand Mladenovic a couple of break points. Davis sent her shot wide and the Frenchwoman had the chance to serve for the match. This time she remained composed setting up triple break points and eventually on her third match point sealed the win to progress to the quarterfinals.