Lucic-Baroni vs. Mladenovic
|Date & Time||Friday May 20, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
the Line: -- Over/Under:
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Kristina Mladenovic and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni meet Friday in the semifinals of the 2016 Strasbourg Open.
Kristina Mladenovic is coming off a straight sets win over Alla Kudryavtseva that took 18 games to decide. Mladenovic finally had an easy match and has played eight sets this tournament, including one tiebreak. Mladenovic is still trying to find her footing in singles play after splitting their last 10 matches and having far more success in doubles. The good news for Mladenovic is that she’s always enjoyed playing on clay court and has won 11 of her last 18 matches on this surface. Mladenovic can continue her climb to become a top-20 player if she stays in her current form. Mladenovic hopes to make her second career final and first since the 2015 Strasbourg Open.
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni is coming off a straight sets win over Pauline Parmentier that took 13 games to decide. Lucic-Baroni appears to have found the fountain of youth at 34 years old, as she’s now won 10 of her last 13 matches when you include qualifying and has won her last two matches in straight sets. Lucic-Baroni is hitting the ball very well and is sharp in her return game. Lucic-Baroni is clearly playing some of her best tennis in quite some time, as it’s been awhile since she was a threat in singles play. Lucic-Baroni looks to reach her fifth career final and first since the 2014 Coupe Banque Nationale. This will be Lucic-Baroni’s first semifinal appearance since Quebec City last season.
These two have met twice in the past, and Lucic-Baroni won both meetings. The two matches took place in this year's Madrid Masters and Charleston Open. Mladenovic has won one set against Lucic-Baroni, and this will be the third time these two play on clay court.
Mladenovic loves clay court and made the final in this tournament last season. She also has the youth advantage here, which does come into play around this time after a lot of matches. Lucic-Baroni has found her form recently and has the experience edge, but Mladenovic is in slightly better form and is playing in a tournament she’s very comfortable.
I’ll take Mladenovic to get to her second final.