Dubai: Top seed Kristina Mladenovic was eagerly looking forward to even stiffer challenges after rushing through the opening round of the 22nd Al Habtoor Tennis Challenge at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort and Spa, on Monday.
“I’m definitely happy with this one and I am looking forward to the next round that should be tougher,” Mladenovic told Gulf News after taking an hour and eight minutes to dispose of the reigning African champion from Egypt, Maiar Sherif Ahmad Abdul Aziz, 6-1, 6-2.
“I was pretty impressed with her big serve and she’s got a great kick. I’ve got my attention on to the next round where I can expect an even stronger challenge,” she added.
The top-seeded Frenchwoman will now take on the winner of the match to be played on Tuesday between Barbora Krejcikova and Dubai regular Stefanie Voegele. “Both players are capable of being in the top-100. I will just go and play my game,” Mladenovic said.
Former doubles champion Vitalia Diatchenko also eased into the next round with an easy 6-0, 6-3 win over Romanian Elena Gabriela Ruse after the eight qualifiers had been decided earlier during the morning session, including a couple of Ukrainians alongside a Romanian, Serbian and a Pole.
Final Round Qualifying
Eleonora Molinaro bt Chloe Paquet 4-6, 7-6, 11-9
Aleksandra Krunic bt Anastasia Gasanova 6-0, 6-2
Akgul Amanmuradova bt Reka-Luca Jani 6-1, 6-4
Daria Snigur bt Kateryna Bondarenko 1-6, 6-3, 10-6
Valentina Ivakhnenko bt Nicoleta-Catalina Dascalu 6-2, 6-7, 10-5
Anastasiya Shoshyna bt Victoria Kan 4-6, 6-2, 10-3
Kristina Mladenovic bt Maiar Sharif Ahmad Abdul Aziz 6-1, 6-2
Vitalia Diatchenko bt Elena Gabriela Ruse 6-0, 6-3