Alize Cornet said she was more hurt by the jeering from her home crowd than the pain from the injury that forced her to retire from her French Open third-round match against Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen on Saturday while trailing 6-0 3-0.
With both her thigh muscles heavily bandaged, the 32-year-old Cornet was barely able to move around on court and later said that she had torn an abductor muscle during her win over Jelena Ostapenko in the previous round.
Cornet had an extended discussion with the chair umpire at the changeover at 3-0 in the second set on Saturday and decided to call it quits, but some in the crowd at Court Philippe-Chatrier were not too pleased.
“What is amazing is that people dared to boo me on the court when I had to abandon the match. And it was because I was in pain,” she told reporters. “But sometimes the French audience surprises me and not always in the right direction.”
Cornet received tremendous support from the crowd at Roland Garros during her wins over Misaki Doi and former champion Ostapenko in the previous two rounds.
“It hurt more than my injury itself. But, yes, you can’t generalize things. It was just a handful of people in the stadium, so maybe they made a lot of noise,” she said.
“But it’s really too much when you see everything I’ve been giving on the court for so many years. I think it would have been far easier for me not to come on to the court, not to put myself, make myself vulnerable with this injury.
“It’s a real pain because it’s unfair and when things are unfair it hurts. But once again most of the people are no doubt sad for me and understand what’s happening, but this handful of idiots really, really, really makes you feel bad.”
Cornet’s loss and the end of the fairytale run of local wildcard and Grand Slam debutant Leolia Jeanjean earlier on Saturday brought an end to the French challenge in the women’s draw.
Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu needed 85 minutes to defeat Jeanjean 6-1 6-4 and will meet 11th-seeded American Jessica Pegula for a place in the quarter-finals.
Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters