After being upset to learn that she was one of those who had been deemed to be in close contact with Frenchman Benoit Paire, who had tested positive for the coronavirus, Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic was upset on the court in the second round of the US Open on Wednesday.
Seeded No. 30 in the women's singles draw, Mladenovic was up 6-1, 5-1 in her match against Russian Varvara Gracheva but failed to convert four match points and then went down in three sets 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-0. The Frenchwoman was livid with the organisers for the conditions that she had been through over the past few days when she spoke to the press after her defeat.
Kristina Mladenovic says she is living a nightmare in the bubble within a bubble
According to The Guardian, the 27 year old Mladenovic said, “We’re living a nightmare here. I have only one desire and that is to regain my freedom.
We have to fight to have our freedom and even that we don’t have yet. The conditions are atrocious and if I had known that playing cards for 40 minutes with a player who tested positive, but ultimately negative, would have resulted in these consequences, I would never have set foot in this tournament."
Even then, she said she simply ran out of gas during her match and refused to blame the USTA for not being able to convert her four match points. "At 5-2, I just collapsed. I have nothing more to say, I’m completely devastated.
It’s absolutely abominable how they are treating us, but I don’t want that to be an excuse for my defeat. It’s not the USTA’s fault that I didn’t convert four match points, don’t get me wrong”.
The World No. 44 had earlier also stated that she was not happy about being placed under the stricter protocls after she won her first round match on Monday. “I am basically in a new ‘bubble in the bubble,’ so there’s not very much I’m allowed to do, which makes it tough for me to compete and mentally be kind of fresh and ready.
Let’s make it simple: I’m allowed to play my match. Literally, not allowed to do anything else. It’s pretty tough for me to accept that … because it’s not like I’m part of (Paire’s) entourage”.
Kristina Mladenovic is still in the doubles draw where she is the No. 1 seed along with Hungary's Timea Babos and are scheduled to play their first round match on Thursday.