Garbine Muguruza joined the list of former champions when she lost her title in the fourth round of the French Open to Kristina Mladenovic and a very partisan crowd which verged on the edge of hostility.
I just think that they were a little bit, sometimes should be a little bit more respectful. The chair umpire has to always calm the crowd down. I'm not here to create enemies. I mean, I love playing here Garbine Muguruza
It obviously affected her for she wagged her finger at them when she left the court with the announcer calling for them to give her a good hand following her 6-1 3-6 6-3 loss and she broke down in tears during her post-match press conference, momentarily leaving the room to recover her poise.
“I think the audience was really tough today. I can’t really understand. I don’t know how to explain,” she said. “If you had been in my shoes on the court, I think you would have understood. I don’t know what people were expecting. I’d rather not say anything more.”
Nevertheless she did state: “I just think that they were a little bit, sometimes should be a little bit more respectful. The chair umpire has to always calm the crowd down. I’m not here to create enemies. I mean, I love playing here.”
Obviously her conqueror thrived on the atmosphere which fuelled an exciting match and lifted home hopes of an overall win.
For Muguruza however, it was a disappointing occasion as she admitted: “I lost confidence, and my opponent of course was on home turf, so it created a lot of tension. So of course I’m sad. It’s a very painful defeat here in the French Open.”
Ironically shortly after her defeat, Venus Williams, a former finalist, was upset by for the second year running by Timea Bacsinszky, the Swiss who will now take on Mladenovic and the crowd for a place in the semi-finals, 5-7 6-2 6-1.
The 36-year-old American battled for two-hours and 12-minutes, recovering from 1-5 down in the first set only to run out of steam in the decider.
Also out is Sam Stosur, the Australian who made the final in 2010, beaten 2-6 6-2 6-4 by Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko revealing later that she was carrying a hand injury which affected her serve and forehand and could well keep her out of Wimbledon.
“My hand’s been sore for about three or four days… Don’t know what’s wrong with it,” the number 23 seed admitted.
“It was just really, really painful and just wasn’t going away. So yesterday I barely hit and just tried to manage it… just tried to get through and did everything I could, but she started playing pretty well, so it made life extra hard.”
The 2011 U.S. Open champion does not know what caused the injury but is hoping it does not disrupt her preparations for The Championships, which starts on July 3.
Meanwhile earlier in the day, Caroline Wozniacki secured a solid victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 4-6 6-2 to match her best performance at Roland Garros.
Second seed Karolina Pliskova advanced to round four with a 7-5 6-1 victory over Germany’s Carina Witthoeft. The Czech, who had won just twice in five previous French Open appearances before this year, will face Paraguay’s Veronica Cepede Royg for a quarter-final spot.
World number 290 and qualifier Petra Martic also reached the last 16 with a 6-1 6-1 win over Latvian 17th seed Anastasija Sevastova and will face Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina who downed Magda Linette of Poland 6-4 7-5.