Kristina Mladenovic says she seems to play better when not working with a coach, having just won her first WTA title in St. Petersburg.

The 23-year-old Frenchwoman stopped working with her coach, Georges Goven, during the offseason and has not brought on anyone else. She said she has had problems finding an effective person for the role during her career.

"The turning point for me—I'm going to be rude a little bit here—I never managed to find a good person for myself as a coach," she told the WTA’s website. "And I think that's the main reason, because nobody would understand that thing that I have that is different.

"Sometimes in matches I save myself from incredible [positions] by using a shot that you would never suggest to do. I would not practice that. It's just intuition, a feeling.”


Though she established herself as a top doubles player while partnering with Caroline Garcia, Mladenovic did not have a good singles season in 2016, and pointed to her greater success the year before—again, with no coach.

"Two years ago when I had my best season, reaching [the] quarters of the U.S. Open, and reaching No. 27, I was alone the whole year with no coach,” she said. “This year, again, I stopped with my coach. I have no one right now and look, the results are coming back. I don't know what to say. I'm not pretending that I know the best and that I can achieve my wildest dreams alone, but right now it's going really well.”

Mladenovic has indicated that she plans to keep playing by herself.

"I think I know myself the best,” she said, “how I should play, and now it's just about me to work hard to try to achieve that."

The title took Mladenovic to No. 31 in the WTA tour rankings.