Three French women reach round of 16 in Roland Garros


Kristina Mladenovic serves to Shelby Rogers in the third round of the French Open (Getty Images)

Despite rain pouring down on the courts at the French Open on Saturday morning, the spirits of French tennis stars Kristina Mladenovic, Caroline Garcia and Alize Cornet remained high.

The group became the first trio of French female athletes to make it to the round of 16 in the Open since 1994, and they will each be chasing a title that has eluded French women since 2000.

Mladenovic, ranked 14th in the tournament, has long been a crowd favorite, and her recent win over Shelby Rogers gave her country even more to cheer about. Mladenovic beat Rogers in three sets, and while she battled back injuries in the past, the French star said she feels “confident” about her physical condition and “could have run for another hour.”

Mladenovic will face defending champion Garbine Muguruza on Sunday.

Cornet and Garcia will face each other in the next round, guaranteeing that at least one French female will move on to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2011. And while Cornet and Garcia will be representing the same country, their personal history and rivalry suggests their next match could draw quite an interest.

Garcia and Cornet’s rocky past dates back to a Twitter fight the two had in April, when Cornet wrote “LOL” on a post just after Garcia injured her back and pulled out of a tournament against Spain. Mladenovic also commented on the post, but she won’t have to play Garcia in this next round and thus hasn’t drawn the same negative attention that Cornet has.

Garcia, while noting that the relationship remains sour, said she will not be thinking about the clash in her upcoming match.

“I don’t want to prove anything to anybody. I have played tennis for a long time,” said Garcia, ranked 28th in the tournament. “I just play for myself, for my team. If people can enjoy my game, it’s good.”

Caroline Garcia smiles after earning a spot in the Round of 16 at the French Open. (Getty Images)

The unseeded Cornet said the two have no plans to talk before the match.

Yet, despite her history with Garcia, Cornet said she remains excited to play in front of her home crowd.

”I think the crowd is going to be excited,” Cornet said. ”We will try to give them a good show, a good game. The crowd support is like a bonus, an extra energy.”

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes