French Open Diary: Real Madrid support Nadal and Mladenovic mania in full swing


Luka Modric witnessed Rafael Nadal put on a masterclass with his racket strings after pulling the strings for Real Madrid in the Champions League final, before Kristina Mladenovic had the Tricolores flying proudly and left Garbine Muguruza distraught at the French Open on Sunday.

Playmaker Modric put on a show in the centre of the park as Madrid beat Juventus in Cardiff on Saturday, which just happened to be Nadal's 31st birthday, to remain champions of Europe.

The Croatia international headed off to Paris to see Madrid fan Nadal ruthlessly dispatch fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Court Suzanne Lenglen to march into the quarter-finals.

It was the Mladenovic show after Nadal's latest brutal beating as she ended a furious Muguruza's reign as champion in the next match to generate a cauldron of noise in the same famous arena.

Clowns and jugglers were also providing entertainment in a memorable end to the first week of the clay-court grand slam.



Nadal took centre stage after Madrid got their hands of the Champions League trophy yet again in the Welsh capital.

Tournament favourite Nadal tuned in to watch Zinedine Zidane's men beat Juve 4-1 and midfielder Modric, Madrid president Florentino Perez and club legend Fernando Hierro were there to support the 'King of Clay' the following day.

Nadal was grateful that Madrid were able to give him the birthday present that he wanted by getting the better of the Serie A winners to become the first team to win back-to-back titles in the Champions League era.

"It's a historic moment. I'm happy, very happy. I spent this time with my family, and I'm very happy." said Nadal.

"The second half was extraordinary. The first one was so tough, but what else can I say? I think that you have to go through tough moments, head winds. It was the case for Real Madrid and then during the second half it was a leap forward in terms of quality for them. Even if it's my club, you know, and a Spanish team, as well. Their performance was excellent."



Mladenovic claimed the scalp of reigning champion Muguruza after Nadal's emphatic victory.

The passionate French fans have high hopes for Mladenovic and she did not let them down on day eight, beating the Spaniard in front of a raucous, packed crowd.

Muguruza was left shaking her head over the conduct of some spectators on a warm afternoon as chants rang around Court Suzanne Lenglen to inspire the home favourite.

The 2016 champion told reporters: "I think the crowd today was a little bit tough for me. I understand. I just think sometimes should be a little bit more respectful through the game because we had to stop [due to the noise]. 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."



It is not just the top professionals on the planet who are showcasing their titles at Roland Garros.

Two men dressed as tennis players with old-school attire wander around the grounds juggling rackets and even managed to do so with a reporter standing between them, not dropping one as they juggled six rackets with incredible skill.

There was also a clown doing the rounds and he did not prove to be quite as popular with some, who were given a fright to say the least.


Many treat Sunday as a day to detox ahead of a new week, but there was little sign of that as huge crowds lapped up the action.

The wine was flowing at 10am, with strawberries to accompany a tipple or two for many.

How the other half live.