World No. 1 Iga Swiatek has voiced criticism against fans’ interruptions during the French Open. There were incidents even during Angelique Kerber’s first-round loss. After a thrilling second-round match, Swiatek initially praised the unfortunate loser, Naomi Osaka, but then turned to the predominantly French audience at Court Philippe-Chatrier with some critical remarks. “It’s very hard to stay focused,” the 22-year-old said in her on-court interview, “when you yell something during the rally or just before the return.”

Swiatek: “I Hope You Still Like Me”

Before Swiatek, other players had already complained about interruptions from the crowd during the French Open. Three-time Grand Slam champion Kerber, for example, was disturbed by an outburst from the audience during her defeat against Dutch player Arantxa Rus when facing set point and had complained to the chair umpire. “It’s tough to accept,” Swiatek said, adding, “This is serious for us. We fight our whole lives to get better and better.”

“I hope you still like me,” Swiatek told the audience, as French fans can sometimes “pick out players they don’t like and boo them. But I love you, and I always love playing here. So let’s keep this going.” These comments were met with mostly applause from the stands.

Osaka Shows Glimpses of Old Form

Sportingly, the match with Japan’s Osaka, which Swiatek won 7-6 (7-1), 1-6, 7-5, was a tough battle. The defending champion fought back from a 2-5 deficit in the third set and even saved a match point. “Naomi played incredible tennis and took a lot of risks,” said the three-time French Open champion. “I’m happy she’s back and playing so well.”

Osaka, standing in the second round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since her return from maternity leave, matched Swiatek at least equally. “I feel like I played her on her better surface. I’m a hard court kid, so I’d love to play her on my surface and see what happens,” Osaka said.