Jelena Ostapenko, Pablo Carreño Busta and Alex De Minaur will remember this Roland-Garros 2022 for a long time, but not necessarily for good reasons. Opposed respectively to Alizé Cornet, Gilles Simon and Hugo Gaston, they had to face the wrath of an unleashed public in favor of the French players. Songs of ultras, whistles or cheers at each fault of the opponent: we had rarely experienced such an atmosphere on the side of the Porte d’Auteuil. In a sport known for its fair play and its relative calm in the stands, this edition of the Parisian clay court is a game-changer.
The context can also explain this much more electric atmosphere. After the end of the confinements and the empty stadiums, the spectators were able to find the stands, in a rather pronounced form of liberation. How not to think of Hugo Gaston’s match against Carlos Alcaraz during the last Paris-Bercy Masters? In a heated enclosure, totally committed to the cause of the French, the Spanish prodigy had lost his footing and had collapsed.
“It’s never easy to play with the public against you and it showed yesterday. I knew it would be difficult to manage this atmosphere, but I would not have imagined it to be so heavy. For my first in this context, it was not easy, “said Alcaraz on his Instagram account after his defeat. Alex De Minaur, defeated by the same Hugo Gaston in the first round of this Roland-Garros 2022, confessed his astonishment at some vindictive supporters: “When the public says things to me, looks me straight in the eye after each double fault, I think there is a certain line that should not be crossed. »
Great “Aux Armes” at 1 a.m. mdrr crazy people �� pic.twitter.com/dvw6bpu2Hb
We thus saw Thursday evening Jelena Ostapenko cover her ears in front of Alizé Cornet, to disapprove of an atmosphere too hostile to her taste. “Poor thing, it couldn’t have been easy for her,” said the Niçoise. But you have to have this advantage when you are a Frenchman. The public is there for that. He’s pretty tough, you have to have him with us, he boos players easily and it can be tough, but not disrespectful. “For Gilles Simon, for whom this is the last Roland-Garros, you must not sulk your pleasure and above all savor this rare osmosis between the public and the French players. The one who defeated Pablo Carreño Busta at the end of the night in the first round with “Allez Gillou!” in shambles and “Aux Armes” admits to having rarely experienced this. “I hadn’t had the chance to take advantage of it, but there were matches that I saw at Bercy and at the last editions of Roland… We saw big atmospheres that we didn’t have. used to have with us. »
For the winner of the 2017 Davis Cup, it is a fair return to see the French public ignite in front of his players. With his long experience of eighteen years on the circuit, Gilles Simon was able to witness much more charged atmospheres than at the Porte d’Auteuil today. “You don’t realize how much we’ve been yelled at for fifteen years when we go to other countries! The Frenchman also cites the Australian Open as an example, reputed to be the hottest tournament of the Grand Slam. “When I played Kyrgios in Melbourne, guys yelled at you, and not cool stuff,” he laughed. You get insulted the whole game. I told the ref, he told me he wasn’t going to clear the whole court anyway! »