Rybarikova downs top seed Mladenovic at Zhuhai

Slovakia's No. 1 Magdalena Rybarikova beat top seed Kristina Mladenovic at the WTA Elite Trophy on Wednesday in a tight match at the round robin tournament.

Rybarikova, who reached her maiden Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon this year, overcame French star Mladenovic 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7/5) in two hours and 48 minutes at the Hengqin International Tennis Centre in Zhuhai.   -  AFP

Slovakia's No. 1 Magdalena Rybarikova beat top seed Kristina Mladenovic at the WTA Elite Trophy on Wednesday in a tight match at the round robin tournament.

Rybarikova, who reached her maiden Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon this year, overcame French star Mladenovic 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7/5) in two hours and 48 minutes at the Hengqin International Tennis Centre in Zhuhai. Twenty-four-year-old Mladenovic is the number one seed at the season-ending tournament, ranked at a career-high number 10.

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The round robin format means she still has a chance to qualify for the semis.

But her first match loss in Zhuhai follows another upset by Croatian Jana Fett at the Japan Women's Open in September, where she was also top seed. It comes despite her reaching the semi-finals at Indian Wells earlier in the year -- a result which saw her break into the world top 20 for the first time in her career, temporarily overtaking Caroline Garcia as French number one.

Rybarikova is currently ranked 22 in the world, also a career high.