This will be their first meeting.
Mladenovic put her poor start to the season behind her with a straight sets win over Cibulkova. I had felt Cibulkova was ready for another strong run in the Australian Open and the early signs were good for her. She will always struggle on serve and was broken early but she broke straight back and seemed to be striking the ball well. Mladenovic seemed a little uncertain on her own serve in the early games but her confidence grew throughout the opening set as she showed glimpses of the level of tennis that we have come to expect from her.
Gibbs had come through 3 qualifying matches to get to the main draw and could have been forgiven for being pleased with her opponent. Koukalova struggled for much of last season but she made Gibbs fight hard for her win.
Gibbs was broken 5 times in her 3 set win and only broke the Koukalova serve twice.
Mladenovic starts around 1.59 tonight and now she seems to have shaken the cobwebs from her serving arm I expect her to take this. I’ll be trying to back her above 1.80 .