Kristina ‘Kiki’ Mladenovic has let rip at the US Open after claiming the bubble conditions has made her feel like a ‘prisoner’ after a woeful collapse in her Second Round match.
On Tuesday, the tennis world was left demanding answers after players in contact with Benoit Paire had been granted the go ahead to compete in the US Open and remain in the bubble.
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The Frenchman tested positive for COVID-19 and pulled out of the US Open, and alleged the bubble was ‘fake’.
But Mladenovic, who is seeded 30th in women’s singles, was one of the players that came in contact and was placed in a bubble ‘within a bubble’.
To add to her woes, the 30th seed was up 6-1, 5-1 in her Second Round match against Varvara Gracheva and astonishingly lost.
In the lead up to the match, Kiki said she was allowed to play but was restricted to do nothing else that ultimately hindered her preparation.
The woeful collapse, sparked an emotional press conference where she blasted the US Open for her ‘abominable’ treatment.
Varvara Gracheva comes back and defeats Kristina Mladenovic 1-6 7-6 6-0. She had odds as high as +27500 available when down 6-1 5-2 with the 8th game score being 30-0 in favor of Mladenovic (odds via 888sport).#USOpen | #UpsetOddspic.twitter.com/RQ4MsGCHhr— UpsetOdds (@UpsetOdds) September 2, 2020
After a surrender remarkable by even French standards - she had four MPs at 6-1 5-2 - Kiki Mladenovic said: I would like to say so many things about what is happening here - it is abominable how we get treated - but I don't want to use it as an excuse for my defeat #USOpen— Neil McLeman (@NeilMcLeman) September 2, 2020
“I would so much like to say a lot of things about what is going on here,” she said.
“It's absolutely abominable how they treat us, but I don't want that to be an excuse for my defeat.
“It is not the fault of the USTA if I did not convert my four match points.”
She also added: “I have the impression that we are prisoners” after talking about her lack of movement within the bubble.
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Earlier in the tournament, Kiki wasn’t aware she was playing someone who had come in contact with Paire, despite herself coming in contact with the fellow Frenchman.
After the first day of the US Open kicked off, American Hailey Baptiste faced Mladenovic.
But it was reported the American was unaware her opponent was a player in ‘a bubble within a bubble’.
Hey, #USOpen, if you're letting players who should be quarantining on the court to compete, the LEAST you could do is to give their opponent a heads up so that they can try to be more cautious.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 31, 2020
Or, honestly, let the opponent demand a forfeit if s/he is uncomfortable with it. https://t.co/7yNtlpzhw1
Meanwhile in quarantine... pic.twitter.com/mR51hWW8Wg— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) August 31, 2020
This prompted leading tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg to suggest players who were up against rivals who potentially should be quarantining needed to become aware of the situation.