Mladenovic knocked out the two-time defending champion Angelique Kerber in straight sets, securing her spot in the quarterfinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, 6-2, 7-5.
The Frenchwoman came into the encounter having won just one set off Kerber in their previous three encounters – all on hardcourts – and facing down the vocal Stuttgart crowd hoping to see another German champion.
But at the Porsche Arena on Thursday, it was Mladenovic who looked at home on the red clay as Kerber struggled to find her footing during the hour and thirty-seven minute encounter. She took the crowd out of the equation early on as she immediately broke the Kerber serve to go up 3-0.
The first set was defined by the break points – Kerber couldn’t capitalize on any of her opportunities (0/2), while Mladenovic went after and converted all her chances (2/2). Kerber also struggled on serve, winning just 45% behind her first delivery (against Mladenovic’s 74%), giving her opponent plenty of opportunities to keep her under pressure as Mladenovic took the opening set 6-2.