‘I want my freedom back. I feel like we are prisoners here,’ fumes Kristina Mladenovic after US Open exit

US Open
Kristina Mladenovic unimpressed

Kristina Mladenovic slammed the United States Tennis Association over their coronavirus protocols following her exit from the US Open.

The Frenchwoman appeared to be on course for a second-round win as she was leading Varvava Gracheva 6-1, 5-1, but she suffered a spectacular collapse as the Russian ended up winning 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0.

After the match Mladenovic hit out at organisers over the way she and several other players have been treated following Benoit Paire’s positive Covid-19 result.

“I was playing well but I was feeling on edge. What they are forcing us to go through is abominable. I want my freedom back. I feel like we are prisoners here,” she said.

Frenchman Paire was withdrawn from the tournament over the weekend and Mladenovic was one of seven players who were reportedly placed in a “bubble in the bubble” following contact with him.

Life inside the ‘bubble in the bubble’ tough for Kristina Mladenovic after Benoit Paire contact

Mladenovic, who has tested negative for Covid-19, practised with her compatriot and also played cards before his positive result.

“At 5-2, I just collapsed. I have nothing more to say, I’m completely devastated,” she said. “It’s absolutely abominable how they are treating us, but I don’t want that to be an excuse for my defeat.

“It’s not the USTA’s fault that I didn’t convert four match points, don’t get me wrong.”

She added: “The conditions are atrocious and if I had known that playing cards for 40 minutes with a player who tested positive, but ultimately negative, would have resulted in these consequences, I would never have set foot in this tournament.”

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