Kristina Mladenovic Powers Into SFs

© Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open

Kristina Mladenovic continued her strong run of form by notching her first win against former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

Wozniacki looked to be in control of the match early, and Mladenovic didn't help by squandering nine break point opportunities to trail 1-5 in the opening set.

"I was very frustrated with the beginning of my match," said the Frenchwoman. "I made a lot of unforced errors and you can’t play like that against a former World No. 1. I tried to be positive and fight as usual."

The momentum would shift as the 28th seed painted the lines with her powerful groundstrokes to close out the match in two hours and 33 minutes.


"It feels great," said Mladenovic, who improves to 1-3 head-to-head against Wozniacki, the 2011 BNP Paribas Open champion. "I had never beat her in the past. She’s such a great fighter and it’s tough to make winners [against her]. I’m glad to make the semifinals here."

The win pushes the 23 year old into the Top 20 of the WTA rankings for the first time. She is now 16-5 on the season, a run which includes lifting her first career title in St. Petersburg (d. Putintseva) and reaching the final in Acapulco (l. to Tsurenko).

The Dubai resident will face Russia's Elena Vesnina for a spot in Sunday's final.

Wozniacki was bidding for her third semifinal appearance in the Coachella Valley (also runner-up finishes in 2010 and ’13).