June 28, 2017

Mladenovic: Crowd was fair and wonderful

08 June 2017, 12:52 | Jackie Morgan

Nadal wins; Muguruza crashes out of French Open

Venus Williams plays a shot during her 5-7 6-2 6-1 loss to 30th-seeded Timea Bacsinszky iun the fourth round at the French Open on Sunday in Paris France

"I understand [but] I just think that they should be a little bit more respectful".

Of the top seeds in Paris, Muguruza got the toughest draw of them all, having to open against former champion Francesca Schiavone, navigate from a set and a break down to a red-hot Anett Kontaveit, and fend off a feisty Yulia Putintseva, a quarterfinalist here previous year, just to make the second week.

Given his nephew Rafael's re-appearance this year at the tournament he has won nine times was sound-tracked by the sort of greeting more generally associated with the second coming, clearly something has irked Uncle Toni. Add it up, and it means that there will be a first-time major title victor at the end of the tournament.

Fellow former slam winners Svetlana Kuznetsova, Venus Williams and Sam Stosur also suffered defeat, at the respective hands of Caroline Wozniacki, Timea Bacsinszky and Jelena Ostapenko. Sunday, June 4, 2017.

Never mind the 16 double faults, Kristina Mladenovic downed defending champion Garbine Muguruza 6-1 3-6 6-3, sending the Roland Garros crowd into raptures as their darling reached the quarter-finals of the French Open on Sunday.

Muguruza, who lost 6-1 3-6 6-3, came back after a minute and said she would take any question. A backhand bunted wide gave Bacsinszky a 5-3 lead, and forced Mladenovic to serve to stay in the hunt.

Mladenovic, who this year reached the French Open quarterfinals, said she enjoyed the pressure and the atmosphere, but agreed the relationship with the crowd works two ways.

"I think the rain help [ed] me a lot, because I was really down in the fourth set and mentally I wasn't ready", admitted Nishikori. The Austrian sixth seed swept aside Horacio Zeballos 6-1 6-3 6-1 to book a last-eight clash with either Novak Djokovic or Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The fourth seed will meet compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta, through to his first Slam quarter-final, for spot in the last four after the latter stunned Canada's Milos Raonic.

- Monfils won 7-6 (5) 5-7 4-3 and will face third seed Stan Wawrinka next.

Of the 12 survivors this year, only Romanian Simona Halep has reached a French Open final.

How right those folks were.

This was Muguruza's first attempt at defending a Grand Slam championship, and she ran into a determined Mladenovic, who was backed by a vocal crowd of countrymen who chanted her nickname, Kiki, throughout the match. A good clay-court season, thanks to the sheer number of balls hit and points played, often translates into success further down the line. Obviously they are excited. "It's going to be tough", said Mladenovic.

While support alone might not necessary have been rude to Muguruza, the crowd began to cheer every time Muguruza committed an error, cheering her mistakes as Mladenovic sought to take control of the match.

"At the end of the day, I think they are here and the United Kingdom trying to do everything they can to keep the security at the highest level, and I think here they are doing a good job". A new Grand Slam victor is set to emerge at the tournament as none of the women's players remaining made that.

Forced off the tour with a variety of ailments, the 26-year-old battled through three qualifying matches just to make her first grand slam main draw in two years. Wozniacki missed the 2016 French Open because of an ankle injury and lost in the first or second round each of the previous three years.

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