Caroline Garcia and Kristina Madenovic will no longer play doubles together after Mladenovic announced the French duo have parted ways.
Mladenovic confirmed that duo will no longer play together in a Twitter statement that explained Garcia’s decision to focus on her singles career, but Mladenovic plans on continuing to play doubles and will announce a new partner soon.
— Kristina Mladenovic (@KikiMladenovic) March 5, 2017
The French duo started their official partnership at the start of 2016 where they would become one of the best teams on tour. They won titles in Charleston, Stuttgart and Madrid, but the biggest highlight came at Roland Garros when they won the French open title in front of their own fans. They would go on to make the US Open final but fell short against Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in New York.
Garcia and Mladenovic were also part of the French Fed Cup team that finished runners-up to the Czech Republic, losing to Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Strycova in the deciding rubber.
Despite their success on the court, everything was not plain sailing for the former number one doubles team. Garcia and Mladenovic were involved in a lot of controversy during the Summer Olympics in Rio regarding their kit. The rules required players to wear the same colours during the doubles or face disqualification, a rule that they claimed to be have been informed of by the French Tennis Federation. As a result, Garcia had to wear Mladenovic’s spare kit and the team ended up losing in the first round despite being medal favourites.
The situation got even more heated when Mladenovic took to Twitter to express her frustrations at the FFT. Garcia and Mladenovic got suspended by the French governing body and their participation in the Fed Cup final was in doubt. The suspension was later lifted and they were allowed to compete in the final.
After the heart-breaking loss in Strasbourg to the Czech Republic, Garcia announced that she will not be playing in the Fed Cup this year, a decision that seemed to anger the French team, including Mladenovic. Without their number one player, France would lose in the first round to Switzerland and an emotional Mladenovic would make a vague criticism of players not giving their all and being part of the team. She then stated that the comments were not about Garcia but Oceane Dodin who had also not played the tie.
Despite that, it makes you wonder whether there is more to the split than meets the eye. Garcia is yet to comment on the situation and her future regarding doubles and Fed Cup is still in the air. Is it a simple case of wanting to focus on singles? Or is there some tension behind the scenes that led to the decision?