French Open 2016: Kristina Mladenovic cruises past former champion Francesca Schiavone in straight sets

The home favourite and world number 30 wasted little time in delighting an expectant Parisian crowd as she proved too hot to handle for the Italian in her 6-2 6-4 win.

French Open 2016: Kristina Mladenovic cruises past former champion Francesca Schiavone in straight sets
Kristina Mladenovic in action during last year's French Open, where she reached the third round. (Source- Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe)

Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic wasted little time in dispensing of the 2010 French Open champion, Francesca Schiavone, as she swept aside the veteran 6-2 6-4 to seal her place in the second round.  Having to recover from a break down in the second set, Mladenovic eventually proved too strong for the Italian.  

Mladenovic continues her run of first round scalps 

Having opened her most recent French Open accounts by defeating twice Australian Open champion Li Na in 2014 and, at the time, world number 6 Eugenie Bouchard in 2015, opening against the world number 95 seemed to prove a far less daunting challenge to Mladenovic.  Taking control of the match from the start, only dampened by a slight blip at the start of the second set, she delivered a focussed performance, with a flurry of fantastic shot-making thrown in; much to the delight of the vociferous Parisians.  

Starved of a French female winner since Mary Pierce in 2000, the French crowd hold high hopes for both Mladenovic and her fellow countrywoman Caroline Garcia, who defeated Lesia Tsurenko in the first round on Monday.  Alize Cornet, the French number 3 and world number 50, also comfortably won her opening encounter against Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium. 

Caroline Garcia won last week's title in Strasbourg and is one of a number of talented Frenchwoman playing on the periphery.  (Source: Sky Sports)
Caroline Garcia won last week's title in Strasbourg and is one of a number of talented Frenchwoman playing on the periphery. (Source: Sky Sports)

However, having won two Mixed Doubles grand slams and already reached the quarter finals of the French Open back in 2013, Mladenovic perhaps remains their most serious chance of finally ending the wait.  Against Schiavone, she did no harm to her credentials. 

Despite her slight blip, as soon as she got the break back in the second set there only ever looked like one winner as Mladenovic's prowess at the net turned the tide.  When Schiavone sliced a shot wide, the win was secured and the crowd showed their appreciation for their countrywoman.