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Alex de Minaur upset by French Open crowd after defeat | French Open 2022

Alex de Minaur upset by French Open crowd after defeat | French Open 2022

Alex de Minaur hit out at Parisian fans who he says ‘overstepped the bounds’ in a deafening atmosphere during his dramatic French Open Exit onto Cour Suzanne Lenglen. The Australian No.1 was dejected as his tournament was derailed at the first hurdle by new French men’s tennis hopeful Hugo Gaston in a four-hour, five-set classic on Tuesday.

De Minaur faced boos and jeers amid a cacophony of noise from home support whose songs and cheers from 21-year-old Youth Olympic champion Gaston helped propel the brilliant youngster but unorthodox to a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (10-4) triumph.

But de Minaur was upset by the behavior of part of the rowdy crowd, the details of which he was reluctant to reveal.

“I think there’s a difference between having a good vibe and supporting your compatriot, which is fine and that’s great,” said the Sydneysider. “I’m sure for him it was an incredible atmosphere. He enjoyed every second but there is a line…

“When I get things said to me by people in the crowd, looking me in the eye after double faulting, I think there’s a certain line that kind of needs to be looked at. But good for him to have played a great match in front of his home crowd and to have been able to feed on it, and to have a moment that I am sure he will not forget.

The exit of the 19th seed, Australia’s top prospect, leaves Jason Kubler as the only man remaining in the second-round draw, while the country’s top two women, Ajla Tomljanovic and Daria Saville, also passed the first round.

At 3-0 in the final set, it looked like de Minaur would join the last 64, seemingly on his way to a magnificent two-sets-to-one comeback victory as a cramped and frustrated Gaston scored his own racquet at the change, breaking it in two.

But the day a French tennis hero, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, was greeted with emotion by the crowd at the Philippe Chatrier court, a new young idol began to announce himself in extraordinary fashion on the second court of Roland Garros.

The stocky southpaw with a touch of finesse produced a series of swashbuckling, tricky winners and even threw an underarm serve – winning the point – at a crucial moment as the momentum headed towards him.

Still, de Minaur hit back twice to break up Gaston’s display as the Toulouse southpaw served for the game.

The relentless din and pressure seemed to show itself on the Aussie in the closing stages as he threw some crucial double faults and seemed to lose focus in the decisive 10-point super tie-break.

It was the second disappointment of the day after John Millman’s story of French Open woes continued, with the battling Queenslander failing for the sixth time to claim his maiden main draw victory in his Grand Slam of the graveyard.

Handed over another miserable draw in the first round, Millman fought hard as always, but American Sebastian Korda, another in the rising battalion of young ATP stars, simply had too much power and quality in a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (8 -6) win.

Millman saved three match points and was close to taking the match into a fourth set before the No. 27 seed finally mastered his brave effort after two hours and 38 minutes.

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