Kristina Mladenovic admits that teaming up with Roger Federer in the UAE Royals side in the IPTL was like a “dream” and considers it one of the best highlights of her career.
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Mladenovic, who helped the Royals end the Dubai leg on a high note, beating the Japan Warriors 26-22, revealed she was one of Federer’s biggest fans and sharing a bench with him was an experience she’ll never forget.
Ironically the Royals lost the two matches they played in Federer’s presence, and won on Wednesday in his absence, but the Frenchwoman, renowned for her flair and famous ‘tweener’ shots, says the Swiss star was greatly missed.
Asked if it was nerve-wracking having Federer as a team-mate, Mladenovic said: “Oh my God. Personally I enjoyed it, it’s been like the most exciting days in my tennis career, I have to say.
— The National Sport (@NatSportUAE) December 16, 2015
“He probably doesn’t know it but I’m probably one of Roger’s biggest fans and it was like such a dreamy situation for me to be by his side.
“He was kind of coaching me, giving me advice, and sometimes even during his singles asking us for advice and I was like ‘wow, this is never going to happen often in my life, that Roger is asking me what do’, that kind of situation was a lot of fun.
“For me it was such a good experience and journey overall. We are missing him. He brings such a great atmosphere in the team but all guys in the team are very entertaining and nice so we’re still enjoying it.”
On finally delivering on home soil in Dubai, Mladenovic added: “Definitely very excited and happy. It’s kind of a release I have to say because we’re playing on home soil and obviously we want to enjoy and make the crowd happy but also bring wins to our team.
“Every team is tough and challenging, the competition is very close, but we’re just very happy that we managed to get the win on this last day in Dubai.”
The Royals are in a three-way battle with the Singapore Slammers and Philippine Mavericks for the No. 2 spot in the standings heading into the final leg of the five-stop league in Singapore.
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