Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Kiki. Mojo. Melbourne.

Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to return to doing something you do very well, proceed to do it, and then wait for the confidence to enfold you. For Kiki Mladenovic (half of the winning team I call “Mladenovic and Anybody”), the right thing to do was not only to pour some fierce energy into doubles, but also, to do it alongside former partner Timea Babos. Babos’s baseline strength perfectly complements the Frenchwoman’s deft work at the net. Together, they’ve become a force with which to be reckoned in Melbourne.

Babos, by the way, is still alive in mixed doubles, also. She and partner Rohan Bopanna have reached the semifinals.

So far, Babos and Mladenovic have taken out Dzalamidze and Knoll, Arruabarrena, Golubic and Stojanovic, top seeds Chan and Sestini Hlavackova, and 8th seeds Hsieh and Peng. That got them to the final, where they will be seriously tested by 2nd seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. The Russian team has more on the line than winning the Australian Open—if they emerge the victors, it will give them a career slam.They will be very, very pumped up for a victory. It should be a great match.

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