The continuous boos from the French Open crowd didn’t bother Taylor Fritz much, according to former French tennis player Alize Lim.
Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina was given a warm welcome as he walked out onto Court Suzanne Lenglen for his third-round match against Fritz. The American, however, received loud boos from the local crowd when he entered.
Fritz got arguably the tournament’s worst reception after beating France's Arthur Rinderknech in the second round on the same court just two days prevoiusly. A villain was made out of the World No. 8 following his play and behavior in the match.
Fritz came from a set down to dispatch Rinderknech on Thursday night. He shushed the crowd after winning match point, which prompted such a loud chorus of boos that it was impossible for Fritz to answer the questions posed to him in his on-court interview.
In a candid conversation with Eurosport, Alize Lim said that if she were in Fritz’s position she would be crying, but that the 25-year-old did not care at all. In fact, she believes the crowd behavior might motivate him further.
"If I were him, I’d be crying right now, but he seems to not care at all. It might give him extra motivation," said Lim.
Despite being unable to break through the partisan crowd's noise, Fritz made a sarcastic statement after beating Rinderknech. He said they were "great," before thanking them for "encouraging" him to win.
"The public was so great, they encouraged me so much that I absolutely wanted to win. I love you guys," Taylor Fritz said in his on-court chat with Marion Bartoli.
Taylor Fritz rose to the occasion, he’s a better player than Arthur Rinderknech: John McEnroe
On June 1, Taylor Fritz overcame the loss of the first set to defeat Arthur Rinderknech 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 at Stade Roland Garros. The match had a delayed start due to the five-hour, 26-minute encounter between Jannik Sinner and Daniel Altmaier.
It was a challenge for Fritz to play in front of a raucous French crowd, but he managed to maintain his composure. The American had much tidier statistics in terms of errors, hitting only 25 to Rinderknech’s 38. While the 78th-ranked Frenchman sent down more winners (45), Fritz was not far behind, hitting 41.
According to John McEnroe, Fritz was the better of the two players, and it was not an upset that he won the match.
“I think Taylor rose to the occasion. He’s a better player than Rinderknech, in my opinion. I don’t think it’s a huge upset that he won that match,” McEnroe said.