Australian Open: Kristina Mladenovic, Ivan Dodig win mixed doubles title

The victory is Kristina Mladenovic's first mixed major crown in eight years, her third overall and second in Australia.

Kristina Mladenovic and Ivan Dodig celebrate winning Australian Open mixed doubles title; Credit: [email protected]

France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Croatia’s Ivan Dodig overcame wildcards Jaimee Fourlis and Jason Kubler in straight sets to win the Australian Open mixed doubles title. The final score at the end of Friday’s mixed doubles championship match read 6-3, 6-4. The 28-year-old from France took home the first of five trophies to be awarded at this year’s event. 

The victory is Kristina Mladenovic’s first mixed major crown in eight years, her third overall and second in Australia. Mladenovic and Canada’s Daniel Nestor reached successive finals Down Under in 2014 and 2015, winning the former. The pair had also won the Wimbledon in 2013. Across women’s and mixed doubles, Mladenovic now has eight Grand Slam titles in total. 

“I love to have that feeling to reach the end of the tournament,” she said. “It’s an event where I particularly like, where I had success. “You come on the last day and you have always this adrenaline and pressure. Finals is to win. You don’t want to end up losing just on the very last step.”

READ MORE – Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis set all-Aussie men’s doubles final

Mladenovic and Dodig cruise to victory

Mladenovic and Dodig largely cruised in the 78-minute final. Fourlis and Kubler were the first ones to break serve in the opening set for a 2-1 lead. However, Dodig and Mladenovic came right back into the game, immediately breaking back to win five of the six games to clinch the opener. The second set was much more of a tight affair. After the two teams traded early breaks, Dodig and Mladenovic won three of the last four games to seal the set and the match.

“Ivan is an amazing player all around the court, not just doubles skills, but singles,” Mladenovic said. He had an amazing career, too. He has so much experience. I think he’s a player very accomplished with that all around the court, his strokes.

“His experience for sure helps. I’m a little bit younger and I have also this much experience. Like I said, I played couple of finals. But I also think we match perfectly because I prefer to play on the deuce end, he’s on the ad side. Tennis-wise it’s just great. We complement each other really well.

“What’s the most important as well is off the court we really have the values and spirit. We have great energy with all our team. I think it makes a big difference at the end of the day. I think we have that same mentality, so it’s nice to be on court together.”

Sportslumo Desk

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