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Fritz Earns Cheers and Jeers for Shushing Rowdy French Crowd

By Erik Gudris | @atntennis | Friday, June 2, 2023

American Taylor Fritz may have just become France’s “Enemy No. 1” at least for the rest of his time at this year’s Roland Garros.

That was after Fritz beat the last Frenchman standing in the singles draw in a dramatic and rowdy second round match Thursday night.

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The No. 9 seed Fritz battled past World No. 78 Arthur Rinderknech 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in a night match on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Despite the back and forth tense match, the real drama started in the final games of the fourth set. At 4-all, Fritz, holding a break point, pulled off a perfect forehand drop shot winner to secure a service break.

Later, serving for the match at 5-4, Fritz had to wait multiple times to serve as many in the home crowd yelled “sssh!”, in a sarcastic attempt to quiet things down yet to also unnerve Fritz who complained about it several times to the umpire.

Fritz and Rinderknech finally managed to get going. At 30-all, Fritz won a grueling 19-shot rally that gave him match point. Fritz ultimately served out the four set win, then proceed to “sssh” the crowd himself in a defiant moment similar to Daniil Medvedev who has done the same to rowdy fans in his own matches.

The crowd, naturally was not pleased with Fritz’s win or him ssshing them. As fans booed him, Fritz stepped up to a microphone to prepare for an on-court interview with Marion Bartoli. As the boos continued, even Bartoli tried asking the crowd to be quiet, but to no avail.

When Fritz told her he could not hear her at all, she managed to get one question in asking him how got through the match.

“I came out and the crowd was so great honestly. Like the crowd was just so great. They cheered so well for me, I wanted to make sure that I won. Thanks guys.”

With that, Fritz packed up his things and left the court.

Social media reaction to Fritz afterward ranged from criticism, with some saying Fritz should have been more respectful, to praise for Fritz for showing his emotions and standing up to the partisan crowd.

Fritz will next face No. 23 seed Argentinean Francisco Cerundolo in the next round.

Photo Credit: Getty Images