Garbine Murguruza was in tears over the hostile crowd
Home favourite Mladenovic, known as Kiki, has captured the imagination of fans this week since medics warned her she might have to retire due to a back problem during the very first set of her tournament.
Having fought on, she further delighted supporters by battling back from 5-2 down in the third set of her match against Shelby Rogers just to reach the fourth round.
Yesterday, during the 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win, that intense support went over the mark, according to Muguruza, and the 23-year-old Spaniard was forced to step away from her post-match interrogation to compose herself.
“The crowd was a little bit tough for me,” she had been explaining. “I understand, I just think that they should be a little bit more respectful. The chair umpire has to always calm the crowd down.
Kristina Mladenovic had all the support from her home crowd
“I’m not here to create enemies – I love playing here. But it is not a good feeling, so…”
When she returned, she added: “It was just tough to be on the court, honestly.”
Murguruza was just one of the four remaining former Grand Slam champions to crash out on a day which threw the women’s draw wide open.
Venus Williams’s exit, losing to Timea Bacsinszky 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 again raises concerns that, with her 37th birthday just 12 days away, she has won her last Grand Slam.
French Open 2017 pictures Mon, May 29, 2017
Pictures from the French Open 2017, the second tennis Grand Slam of the year.
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Garbine Muguruza playing at the French Open
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“I played well, but I have to move on to the next one,” she said. “I am not playing any events till Wimbledon, so it is back to the practice courts to see if I can improve my game.”
Former world No1 Caroline Wozniacki, meanwhile, believes romantic strolls in the Bois de Boulogne with boyfriend David Lee helped her to beat 2004 US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.
“If everything is calm and good in life, it makes it much easier to focus on the court,” she said. “I have great support. I have great people with me here. It’s nice to know that they have my back no matter what.”
There she will meet Latvian world No47 Jelena Ostapenko, who came from a set down to put out 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur, winning 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.