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Vreme čitanja: oko 3 min.

Kristina Mladenovic tells Telegraf: Novak is right, Kosovo is Serbia, I play for France, my heart is Serbian

Vreme čitanja: oko 3 min.

The popular Kiki certainly never hid her Serbian origins

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Kristina Mladenović za Telegraf

Illustration: Telegraf/JEAN CATUFFE/DPPI / Shutterstock Editorial /Dubreuil Corinne/ABACA / Abaca Press / Profimedia; Instagram/kristinamladenovic93

Kristina Mladenovic is one of those tennis players who you think has been on the scene for many, many years, but she only just turned 30. The winner of as many as six Grand Slam titles in doubles, of which four at the French Open, the participant in two finals, a former Top 10 in singles and the world's number one in doubles.

Her impressive career is far from over, and she was always considered as one of us in Serbia, even though she has played for France all her life.

This French Open this year did not really "fit" her, she was eliminated in the first round of singles, and then in the second round of doubles, but speaking for Telegraf, Mladenovic summarized her participation and commented on what's currently happening on the legendary Parisian clay.

"Well, we had problems, it is what it is. My partner is injured, she is struggling a lot with that injury, and these are doubles. It's played by two people, it's very difficult to do everything alone. It's a shame, of course, I'm not satisfied, but we'll work to improve everything. Nevertheless, here at the French Open I was the champion four times in that competition, I will certainly not give up on giving more of myself in every coming match in order to do it again."

You are here, Kristina, and now there are Selena Janicijevic and Nina Radovanovic, girls of Serbian origin, who play for France.

"I don't know the girls, I really don't. I didn't get a chance to talk to them, and I don't even know what Nina looks like, she's young! (laughs) I received no invitation (to play for) Serbia, I guess because I started representing France at the age of 12, I got in that system. I always say that I am Serbian at heart. I joke a little with French journalists, because when I win and when I'm in shape, then I'm French, and when I lose and when I'm down, then I'm Serbian (to them)," Kristina told Telegraf, and the proof of the first part of that statement is on the tennis shoes she wears, which feature the flag of Serbia and the image of Belgrade's Saint Sava Temple.

What was the impact in France of Novak Djokovic writing on a TV camera that Kosovo is the heart of Serbia?

"Novak is great, he is a real example for everyone else. I saw that. Many people are allowed to talk about Russia and Ukraine, everyone has an opinion, but that's not political? On the other hand, this, this is political? Yes, I share Novak's position, Kosovo is the heart of Serbia for me as well. My father is from Gjilane (a town in Kosovo and Metohija), my grandmother lived there and I was there when I was a child."

Olga Danilovic (Serbian tennis player) was eliminated in the third round, and it seems that she could have done more.. Do you know each other well?

"Olga is a great girl, we won in Lausanne together and I'm glad that she's come to her game. You can see the progress and I'm really looking forward to it. She has achieved great results since Madrid, if she keeps this attitude, she will surely have a moment to progress even more."

Is Novak the main favorite to win the French Open? Or, after all, Carlos Alcaraz?

"As for Nole, for me he is always a favorite. Wherever he appears, he is always a favorite. Maybe it's a little subjective, but I hope that he will get his 23rd Grand Slam trophy here. Alcaraz is good, and he has his chance, he is young, but Novak is more experienced and there is no tournament that he comes to without being the main contender for winning it," concluded Mladenovic.


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