Dethroned Muguruza wishes for 'more respectful' Roland Garros crowd


A tearful Garbine Muguruza called for the Roland Garros crowd to show more respect after the 2016 winner's title defence came to an end at the hands of vocal home favourite Kristina Mladenovic amid a fiercely partisan atmosphere on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Muguruza upset Serena Williams in the Paris decider last year to register her first grand slam singles triumph, but she has struggled to hit those heights again in the subsequent 12 months.

The crown of the reigning champion has not sat easily on the brow of the Venezuela-born Spaniard and the world number five was partly relieved to escape the scrutiny that has accompanied her in the French capital. 

"Well, I think the crowd today was a little bit, obviously, tough for me," she told a news conference.

"I understand. I just think that they were a little bit, sometimes [the fans] 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. [It] is not a good feeling.

"I lost confidence, and my opponent of course was on home turf, so it created a lot of tension."

Muguruza briefly left the room after starting to cry when asked about Mladenovic's regular outbursts at key points, but the fourth seed later claimed to be unperturbed by her opponent's behaviour.

"No, I think she speaks like 25 languages, I heard, so...," Muguruza said.

"Well, I went prepared. I know she's a French player, and I understand that. I went prepared out there. But it's always tricky when you have to defend your title and you have someone that's going to be a tough match, no matter in which country you play. And then just the environment. You know, I understand. I'm just gonna say that I understand."

Despite her eagerness to escape the spotlight, Muguruza insisted she will be happy to return next year.

"You know what? I love this tournament, no matter what happens," she said.

"I'm going to be super happy to come back. I think it's just - it's gonna sound weird, but I'm actually happy that this stage of the year is done, because 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, so it's going to be a little bit like, 'Whew, let's keep going'.

"I keep getting the same questions over and over again, 'are you under pressure?' and everything. Of course it's a privilege to come here when you won last time. There are very few girls who can claim that. But I'm leaving here quite happy because none of the matches I played were easy."