Role Right-handed all-courter (two-handed backhand)
Relation(s) Dragan (father), Dzenita (mother), Luka (brother)
Kristina Mladenovic is a French tennis player who has carried the hopes of her country at Roland Garros for the last few years.
Mladenovic has achieved a fair bit of success in singles, but has been a huge hit in doubles, winning multiple Grand Slams in both women's doubles and mixed doubles. She has a unique game style filled with variations and clever tactics, which has proven to be a handful for many of her opponents over the years.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: 3rd Round (2016)
French Open: Quarterfinalist (2017)
Wimbledon: 3rd Round (2015, 2018)
US Open: Quarterfinalist (2015)
Highest Ranking: No. 10
Style of play
Mladenovic is capable of playing from anywhere on the court, and uses her movement to aggressively take the ball on.
The Frenchwoman likes to set up points with her serve, either following it up with a big forehand or a net approach. She hits her forehand with plenty of topspin, but can also flatten it out when presented with a short ball.
Mladenovic has a conventional two-handed backhand, and throws in the one-handed slice a fair bit too. She also uses the drop shot and lob as surprise tactics, doing her best to keep her opponents on their toes all the time.
Strengths and weaknesses
Mladenovic's forehand is her stronger wing, and she can attack very effectively with it. She is particularly dangerous with her forehand when she draws a short reply from her opponent; she doesn't usually have trouble finishing points with the stroke.
Mladenovic has a big first serve, which often comes to her aid when she's in trouble. Her second serve, however, is quite inconsistent, and she can be guilty of making too many double faults on occasion.
The Frenchwoman's net play is possibly her biggest asset. Her doubles experience has helped her become a proficient volleyer, and she can take time away from the opponent by planting herself at the net and taking the ball out of the air.
Mladenovic's movement around the court is not bad, but she can struggle at times when pushed behind the baseline. She also makes a few mistakes with her shot selection on occasion, which can lead to a few too many unforced errors.
Mladenovic was born in Saint-Pol-sur-Mer, and is of Yugoslavian origin. Her parents moved to France in 1992, and have lived there ever since.
She belongs to a very sporty family; her father Dragan used to be an Olympic-level handball player, and her mother Dzenita played volleyball. Her brother Luka, meanwhile, is a footballer.
Mladenovic has been given the nickname 'Kiki', and she started playing tennis at the age of eight. Although she has enjoyed a lot of success on clay and hardcourts, her favorite surface is grass.
Mladenovic was a very successful junior player, winning the 2009 French Open girls' title and ascending to the World No. 1 ranking later that year.
The Frenchwoman has been dating fellow tennis pro Dominic Thiem since 2017. The two are very outspoken about their relationship on social media, and have won a huge number of fans with their likable camaraderie.
Mladenovic made her singles breakthrough at the 2017 French Open, reaching the quarterfinal there after defeating Garbine Muguruza, but has tasted plenty of Slam success in doubles. She has won four Grand Slams already - two in women's doubles and two in mixed doubles - and is poised to add to that collection in the years to come.