Two finals in quick succession for the re-emerging Caroline #Wozniacki resulting in losses to Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova in Dubai and Doha on this year's WTA tour - has made for a frustrating start to the season for the former world number one.
Currently ranked number 14 in the world - Wozniacki raced out of the blocks with deftly disguised winners and marathon running energy to put the classy world number 29 #Kristina Mladenovic, firmly on the back-foot in an intriguing BNP Paribas, #Indian Wells quarter final - taking the first set 6-3. Fancied players like Elina Svitolina, Garbine Murguruza and the out-of-sorts Angelique Kerber have all fallen by the wayside, in this strong tournament. The winner of this game must almost be able to touch that WTA title. However, Venus Williams and the in-form Karolina Pliskova are still standing and, represent dangers in the reminder of this fascinating WTA tournament.
The gutsy and ranging French player, Mladenovic sensed that Wozniacki was moving a little gingerly on her right side midway through the second set and recovered from a break down to pinch it in the tie-break. In truth, even the most ardent Wozniacki fan would be forced to admit the principled French lady deserved to be back in this match and, the way she was moving Wozniacki around the court you'd even have made her favourite to win it at this point.
Mladenovic finishes Wozniacki off ruthlessly
An injury time-out for treatment on her right foot seemed to unsettle Wozniacki. Mladenovic started to take control and broke to take a 3-2 lead in the final set. This riled the Dane as a racket throwing tantrum ensued when things started going against her in the 6th game. Wozniacki was all-but down and out at 2-4, final set.
Wozniacki folded tamely after that as Mladenovic broke again on the way to a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory. Although, all the headlines will be about the injury to Wozniacki - just as her season was getting going.
If the right foot holds and a needed rest is taken - then Wozniacki could well continue to build her confidence, form and determination for the US Open - her best chance at grabbing that much sought after first slam. Mladenovic, well she could well triumph in Indian Wells.