Roland Garros await their darling as Mladenovic faces Muguruza

Spain's Garbine Muguruza returns the ball to Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Friday, June 2, 2017 in Paris.

The Spaniard stormed off court wagging her finger at the vocal crowd, while Mladenovic celebrated nearly as if she had won the tournament, running to shake hands with French federation president Bernard Giudicelli.

Spanish fourth seed Muguruza rallied but 13th-seeded Frenchwoman Mladenovic perfectly played the key points in the decider. The Spaniard has been struggling this year, except for a few good performances, but now she is definitely set to be pushed to the limit when she goes up against home favourite Kristina Mladenovic in the fourth round. After the 21-year old held, Williams was presented with a second chance toserve out the set and this time she had no issues, holding to love to grab a one set lead.

"I have proved many times that this is not something that is bothering me at all".

Belgian 10th seed David Goffin retired with an ankle injury after slipping while leading in the first set of his third-round match against Argentine Horacio Zeballos.

An epic fifth game went Muguruza's way when she converted her fifth break point.

Mladenovic often played to the fans, waving her arms to ask for more noise. I don't know what people were expecting. Muguruza hopes to make her sixth career grand slam quarterfinal.

Along with intense disappointment, there was also relief for the Spaniard, who has struggled to cope with the expectation since her triumph here past year. "I'm looking forward to this one".

Kuznetsova, who won the 2009 French Open and 2004 US Open, was ousted by two-time major finalist Caroline Wozniacki 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, while 2011 US Open champion Stosur was eliminated by 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Garbine Muguruza crashed out of the French Open after a hard-fought battle against Kristina Mladenovic.

Matches to look for on Saturday at Roland Garros include (9) Aggie Radwanska vs. Alize Cornet, (3) Simona Halep vs. (26) Daria Kasatkina, and (11) Wozniacki vs. Bellis (to finish).

Rogers, who was a surprise quarterfinalist in Paris a year ago, saw Mladenovic win 25 of the last 33 points to pull off the comeback.

Mladenovic broke down in tears during her post-match speech to the crowd, telling her supporters: "The courage and the force you give me is just unimaginable".

  • Carolyn Briggs