Dominic Thiem shares a tennis bond with his girlfriend Kristina “Kiki” Mladenovic. Both are pro tennis players who went public with their relationship status late in 2017. Mladenovic understands the unique life of a professional athlete, and tries to help Thiem stay grounded away from tennis. Mladenovic can be found watching movies or listening to music when she is not on the tennis court.
“During the tournament, I have my routine; I have some treatment, rest a little, listen to music, watch some TV series and movies and chatting or Skyping with my friends and family,” Mladenovic told WTA. “…I listen to lots of different types of music, like Serbian, Reggae, South American, French and then modern music like Rihanna, Chris Brown and David Guetta and all those other pop hits we are all singing and dancing to. Films? I think Gladiator is the most impressive film I have seen in my life.”
Prior to Mladenovic, Thiem was dating Austrian pro tennis player Romana Exenberger who he met at an award show. Mladenovic spoke with Sydney International about their decision to go public with their relationship.
“[We’ve been together] quite a long time – pretty much beginning of 2017,” Mladenovic explained to Sydney International. “But yeah, people didn’t really realise. I’m a WTA player so it’s obvious I’m also at tournaments and you could think that we are friends. When I was next to him in London at the ATP Finals, it was obvious then that a WTA player shouldn’t be there. So we though let’s not play with our fans and be honest. Since we are both [in the public eye] there is no point to hide it, we have nothing to hide really.”
Learn more about Thiem’s girlfriend.
1. Rumors Started Circulating After Mladenovic Was Seen in Thiem’s Box Near His Family During a London Match
After Mladenovic was spotted near Thiem’s box during his match in London, rumors started to swirl that the two tennis players could be an item. While Thiem declined to elaborate on their relationship, he admitted they were dating.
“I do not have to say anything about it, it’s obvious anyway,” Thiem told Tennistonic.com.
The couple bonds over their love of tennis. According to WTA Tennis, Mladenovic has earned $7.7 million over her career, and $809,560 in 2018. Her highest ranking was No. 10 in October 2017, and Mladenovic was ranked No. 2 in doubles in 2016.
“It’s true [she is dating Thiem],” Mladenovic admitted to Sydney International. “At the beginning I was never inside of this environment – I’m someone who is very private and don’t like to share my personal life on social media and I’ve never done this before actually. But I think it’s very nice to be honest. And he’s also a very top player obviously, and we really help each other. We understand each other perfectly, we know what the other is going through, we know the way the other one can feel. Also on tour for travelling it also makes it easier because we have such a crazy busy schedule. So it’s always nice when you have your better half that can easily travel with you and also support you, see your match and understand what you’re doing.”
2. Both of Mladenovic’s Parents Were Pro Athletes
It is no surprise that Mladenovic took to tennis as she comes from a family of athletes. Mladenovic’s mother played volleyball, while her father played handball. Her brother also played soccer during high school. According to WTA Tennis, Mladenovic started taking tennis seriously around the age of 12.
“Both of my parents were professional athletes – my father played handball and my mother volleyball – so they really encouraged me to try out all sports when I was young; I played mini-handball, volleyball, swimming and also tennis!” Mladenovic explained to WTA Tennis. “They were inspired by watching Monica Seles, who was from Yugoslavia like them, and sent me to the local club when I was about 8. From the first time the coach saw me, he was like, ‘wow, is this the first time she is playing?’ I think he saw something in me and encouraged me to continue.”
3. Mladenovic Admits Thiem Has Her Heart
On Valentine’s Day 2018, Mladenovic posted a photo of the couple, and gave her boyfriend a shout-out on Instagram. Mladenovic admitted Thiem has her heart.
“Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart 💕#theone,” Mladenovic posted.
Thiem also had an Instagram post of his own on Valentine’s Day.
“First Valentinesday [sic] of many with you ❤️ #jetaimetellement #forgood #frombuenosairestodoha,” Thiem noted in the caption.
In another post, Thiem admitted Mladenovic makes his life “so much better.”
4. Thiem Is From Austria, While Mladenovic Was Born in France
According to AFP, Thiem is from Austria, and once dated a contestant from the 2010 Miss Austria pageant. Thiem is looking to put his country on the tennis map by becoming the first Austrian to win a Grand Slam since Thomas Muster won in 1995.
“He [Thomas Muster] sent a message to my physio because they work together… we see each other every year in Vienna, and that’s it,” Thiem explained to AFP. “He’s a role model for every Austrian tennis player. He’s the biggest in our sport in Austria.”
Mladenovic is from France, and spoke with WTA Tennis about her background.
“My mother is Dzenita and my father is Dragan,” Mladenovic noted to WTA Tennis. “They come from the part of Yugoslavia that is now Serbia and they moved to France because my father was signed in 1992 by the First Division handball team in Dunkirk.”
5. Mladenovic Speaks 5 Different Languages: French, English, Serbian, Italian & Spanish
Mladenovic can carry on a conversation with just about anyone. According to WTA Tennis, Mladenovic speaks the following five languages: English, French, Serbian, Italian and Spanish. Mladenovic also dabbles in a bit of Russian.
Mladenovic’s multi-lingual cabilities came up in a 2017 feud with Garbine Muguruza after the French Open. The players had gone back and forth over whether the crowd had crossed the line, then Muguruza took a bit of a jab at Mladenovic.
“No, I think she speaks like 25 languages, I heard,” Muguruza told The Telegraph.