Mladenovic takes down Muguruza, Raonic upset
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 08, 2017,
Jun 08, 2017, 9:58
"It's not ideal, but I fight as I can", the 13th-seeded Frenchwoman told the crowd after moving to her first French Open quarter-final.
A tearful Muguruza felt the crowd was disrespectful during her fourth-round loss, as Mladenovic set up a meeting with Timea Bacsinszky.
Home favourite Kristina Mladenovic underlined her status as the dark horse to win the French Open title this week after defeating defending champion Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 yesterday to reach the quarter-finals.
It is 34 years since Yannick Noah became the last men's champion and 17 since Mary Pierce lifted the women's trophy.
But 27-year-old Bacsinszky broke Williams' serve in the first game of the second set as she won 12 of the last 15 games in the match.
11 - Roland Garros quarter-finals Nadal and Djokovic have now made to join Roger Federer at the top of the list for most Roland Garros quarter-finals reached in the Open Era. The 24-year-old Mladenovic never had been past the third round at her home major and has never made it beyond the quarterfinals at any other.
Under the circumstances, Williams can be forgiven for her relatively tight lip in the aftermath.
"'Kiki, Kiki!" yelled the crowd as Mladenovic, a player born of Serbian parents and who speaks good English and cheers herself up in Italian, negotiated her way through the tricky fourth-round match.
The departures of Muguruza and 2009 victor Svetlana Kuznetsova meant that the French Open is guaranteed a new women's champion on Saturday.
"She just played well".
Also bowing out of the tournament was men's fifth seed Milos Raonic, losing a five-set fourth-round thriller to Pablo Carreno-Busta.
He lost to Frenchman Yannick Noah at Roland Garros in 1983, and beat Frenchman Henri Leconte in 1988. She steadied the ship and much more of her chances in the second set, but she lost that momentum as Mladenovic surged ahead once more for a 3-1 lead in the decider, with the crowd being very vocal in their support.
There has not been a French victor since Mary Pierce in 2000 and Mladenovic was cheered raucously during her 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory.
But Mladenovic said the crowd was largely balanced, aside from at one stage screaming between Muguruza's first and second serves.
Heading into this French Open, many figured the women's draw was wide open, because of the absences of Williams' sister, Serena, and Maria Sharapova.
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. There is no secret to the French crowd at Roland Garros.
Although Williams started her match against Bacsinszky as the favorite, it was no huge surprise to see the 30th seed prevail.