French world No31 Kristina Mladenovic, who upset No2 seed Karolina Pliskova in the Dubai second round on Tuesday, clarified the comments she made post-Fed Cup earlier this month, which she says were misinterpreted as directed towards her friend and doubles partner Caroline Garcia.
Mladenovic had reportedly slammed a team-mate’s lack of commitment to Fed Cup, and French media claimed that these comments were aimed at Garcia, who did not take part in France’s 1-4 defeat to Switzerland in Geneva from February 11-12.
In Dubai, however, Mladenovic is playing Garcia in the doubles draw, and the recently-crowned St. Petersburg champion elaborated on her remarks, saying they were about Oceane Dodin, not her doubles partner.
“Just to clarify that thing, I never mentioned her name, and it was not about her. I just answered the question that it was about the missing players in the team, and I was not mentioning Caroline Garcia,” said Mladenovic.
“I was comparing – I was just simply comparing Amandine Hesse with Oceane Dodin, who is also an upcoming talented young player, and she never played for Fed Cup. She had one tie with us and never gave her all, and, you know, build something in the team.
“And I was comparing with Amandine that was literally like crying, being in the team. She came with us, being a hitting partner, which I thought was horrible for her. And then she earned her spot being the main fourth player and then ended with playing official match. I could see how pride she has, because for us, in France, it’s something big to big patriotic and play for the country.
“So I was definitely not using that strong words towards my partner, because, you know, it’s a choice of hers not to play this year. I regret it. I cannot say I agree with that, but in the past, from the beginning, from the beginning of her career, she always played full…”