From the news

Mladenovic back on track with easy victory

  • ontennis
  • 31 May 2017
  • 05:05

Home favourite Kristina Mladenovic put her back pain behind her as she cruised into the French Open third round with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Italy's Sara Errani on Wednesday.

The 13th-seeded Frenchwoman, who was on the brink of pulling out after hurting her back on the eve of her first-round match, rarely looked in trouble against the 2012 Roland Garros runner-up.

Mladenovic, who will next face American Shelby Rogers, was back to her confident self, peppering the court with winners in a one-sided contest.

Tagged one of the tournament favourites after reaching the final in Stuttgart and Madrid, Mladenovic lived up to expectations with a tidy display.

"It was not to be a piece of cake because despite her ranking (91st) she is still an impressive opponent," said Mladenovic.

After losing to Maria Sharapova in the 2012 final, claycourt specialist Errani reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2013 and the quarter-finals in 2014 and 2015.

Mladenovic, who has never made it past the third round here, broke three times in the first set, leaving no breathing space for Errani, who had to get through qualifying to enter the main draw this year.

Errani opened a 2-0 lead in the second set but Mladenovic was too hot on a sun-kissed court and she rallied back before leading 5-3.

She wasted three match points but fired an excellent inside-out forehand winner to wrap up victory.

"I had a huge scare in the first round because of my back. It's better now but I'm not quite there yet," Mladenovic said.

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