French Open: Garbine Muguruza frustrated by crowd in Kristina Mladenovic loss
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 06/06/17 8:35am
Garbine Muguruza vented her frustration at the French Open crowd in a tearful press conference after defeat to Kristina Mladenovic.
Muguruza, who defeated Serena Williams in the final 12 months ago, walked off court wagging her finger at the fans on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Mladenovic is the great French hope to end their 17-year wait for a home singles champion, and the support was understandably one-sided as they cheered the 24-year-old to a 6-1 3-6 6-3 victory.
But Muguruza felt it went too far, saying: "I think the audience was really tough today.
"I don't know how to explain. If you had been in my shoes on the court, I think you would have understood.
"I understand, but I just think that they should be a little bit more respectful. We had to stop. The chair umpire has to always calm the crowd down. I'm not here to create enemies. I mean, I love playing here. It's not a good feeling."
The 23-year-old broke down in tears during her press conference and had to leave the room for a couple of minutes before returning.
Muguruza's coach Sam Sumyk tweeted that he thought the crowd were "pathetic".
It appeared there was no love lost between the players either, with Muguruza asked about Mladenovic's habit of shouting 'forza' in Italian at key moments.
"I think she speaks like 25 languages, I heard," responded Muguruza sarcastically.
Along with intense disappointment, there was also relief for the Spaniard, who has struggled to cope with the expectation since her triumph here last year.
Anointed as the player to take over Williams' mantle, Muguruza has subsequently failed to reach a single final at any tournament.
She said: "I lost confidence, and my opponent was on home turf, so it created a lot of tension. Of course, I'm sad. It's a very painful defeat here at the French Open.
"I love this tournament no matter what happens. I'm going to be super happy to come back. It's going to sound weird, but I'm actually happy that this stage of the year is done.
"I wanted to go as far as possible, but even if I didn't, I think I'm going to feel much better now to continue the year, and everybody is going to stop bothering me asking me about this tournament."
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