Kristina Mladenovic, who lost in the round of 16 in Washington, D.C. this week, says she isn't allowing her rise in the rankings to change her personality.
“Who I am doesn’t change if I’m like 200 or No. 1 in the world. I stay the same person. In my opinion, the most important thing is your personality. That’s what stays, not how many titles you’ve won,” she said in a column for Sport 360. “Once you’ve finished your tennis career, we’re not going to remember if you won 15 titles or 27 titles on tour. It’s more about your image, what you brought to people and your values.
"At the end of the day, it’s a job, it’s sport, and the nicest thing that we will miss at the end is this connection.”
Mladenovic is currently ranked No. 13, and recently reached a career-high of No. 12 with consistently good runs. On hard courts, Mladenovic won St. Petersburg, reached the final in Acapulco and the semis in Indian Wells in March.
The Frenchwoman also had a good clay season, defeating Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova to reach the final in Stuttgart and then in Madrid, losing against Simona Halep. At the French Open, she stunned Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round before losing in the quarters.
She is getting used to her new position, but doesn't want the rest of her to change.
“I’m thinking more like this is normal, this is where I want to be, and more importantly this is where I want to stay—to stay and try every single day to keep working and improving," she said. "So on one hand things have changed, but on the other, I’m still the same person. I still have the same thoughts and personality—that will never change for me.
"It’s not because I’m getting higher in the rankings, and maybe in status, that I’m going to change and be more arrogant or not to talk to some people that I used to talk to.”
—Watch full match coverage on Grandstand 1 and Grandstand 2 LIVE from the Citi Open.
—Miss the action at the Citi Open? Watch encore coverage on demand exclusively available on Tennis Channel Plus.
—Can’t make it to Kitzbuhel? Watch all the coverage LIVE on Tennis Channel Plus. Check out the stacked draw featuring Pablo Cuevas, Fabio Fognini and Paolo Lorenzi.
—Get Tennis Channel Plus for 650+ live events all year long.
—Tennis Channel Plus is available on any streaming device, on mobile, always on the GO (desktop, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire). Subscribe today at BuyTCPlus.com.