Ons Jabeur was handed an early exit from the French Open on Sunday after Poland’s Magda Linette produced a 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 win in the opening round.
After winning the Madrid Open and reaching the final of the Italian Open earlier this month, the Tunisian star looked on track for a good run at Roland Garros.
But a first round defeat has left Jabeur disappointed, and a number of tennis fans are also unhappy after seeing the poor turnout for the match.
An image of the Court Philippe-Chatrier has been doing the rounds on Twitter, and not for the right reasons.
The Tennis Podcast uploaded a photo of an almost empty main court during the match between Jabeur and Linette, along with the caption: “Only a David Law level of pumpedness would be completely undented by the empty seats on Chatrier. Ons Jabeur deserves more.”
It was certainly a strange sight to behold. Spectators are once again able to attend the French Open for the first time since 2020, when Covid-19 restrictions prohibited fans from watching live sport.
Tennis followers have criticised the lack of support at Roland Garros, with many questioning why the attendance was seemingly so low.
“This is just [a] horrible crowd for the Madrid champion. It’s sad to see so [many] empty seats,” one user wrote.
Another echoed the sentiment, stating they “can’t believe this is a major slam” based on the lack of spectators in the stands.
This is just horrible crowd for the Madrid champion. It’s sad to see so much empty seats😭— Ashish (@AshishOdysseus) May 22, 2022
Can't believe this is a major slam.— Active Women and Girls Foundation (@SarahRobbie6) May 22, 2022
One user described Jabeur as “the hottest WTA player on tour after Iga Swiatek” and slammed Roland Garros for putting her “in an empty stadium at 11am on a Sunday.”
Ons Jabeur is the hottest #WTA player on tour after Iga Swiatek. She's one of the most popular athletes in North Africa, the ancestral land of millions in France. But Roland Garros puts her in an empty stadium at 11 am on a Sunday. Are they trying to hide her? https://t.co/end60CiAY8— Christopher Johnson (The Globalite) (@globaliteman) May 22, 2022
Jabeur is indeed an exciting player to watch, having already won a tournament this month after beating the likes of Belinda Bencic, Simona Halep and Jessica Pegula to win the Madrid Open.
The world number six has voiced her disappointment following her defeat to Linette, but has tried to put an optimistic spin on the situation as she looks ahead to her next tournament.
“Obviously I was expecting better but we say maybe something bad happens because there is something good happening in the future,” the 27-year-old said.
“Hopefully the grass season, hopefully Wimbledon, I don’t know, but it’s definitely a great time to reflect and to see what’s going to happen next.
“So maybe it was a good thing to lose today. I would rather say this and be really tough with myself than waste all the good energy that I got from Madrid and Rome.”
Jabeur then briefly touched on the less than glamorous conditions both she and Linette played in while out in Paris.
“Well, honestly, I wasn’t happy to play on a Sunday at 11am,” she added. “I’ve got quite a peculiar relationship with this court, I like it and I don’t like it at the same time.”