Wed, Jun 07, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Ice-cold kiss in Paris to ‘girls power’

‘I LIKED IT’:The months-long rivalry between French players Cornet and Garcia has calmed after Cornet wished Garcia good luck in her quarter-final against Mladenovic

AFP, PARIS

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia yesterday during their women’s singles quarter-final match at the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris.

Photo: EPA

Torrential rain yesterday halted women’s quarter-final action at the French Open.

Jelena Ostapenko was serving for the second set in her match against Caroline Woznacki after the Dane clinched the opener 6-4.

Timea Bacsinszky was a set up on France’s Kristina Mladenovic when play was suspended just before 3:30pm.

Frances’ Alize Cornet yesterday attempted to roll back on describing her on court embrace with compatriot Caroline Garcia as the “coldest kiss” she has received, backing her bitter rival to succeed at Roland Garros.

Cornet lost in straight sets to Garcia in the fourth round on Monday in the pair’s first meeting since a fallout in April left them barely on speaking terms.

Garcia had infuriated Cornet, as well as fellow French Open quarter-finalist Mladenovic, by pulling out of a Fed Cup tie at the 11th hour through injury.

Cornet, Mladenovic, as well as teammate Pauline Parmentier then all tweeted “LOL” simultaneously.

After Monday’s match, the two women surprisingly shook hands and embraced, a gesture greeted by huge applause from the Philippe Chatrier crowd.

However, Cornet was not letting her defeat pass quietly.

“I was actually also surprised. I was not expecting that she wanted to give me a kiss. And I liked it,” the 27-year-old said after a 6-2, 6-4 loss.

“It was good to finish on this note, I wouldn’t have liked like just a handshake, like very cold. I’m not this kind of person. I’m a very nice person. I don’t like the conflict,” she said. “So I told her good luck, and I mean it.”

Cornet yesterday attempted to further extend the olive branch by tweeting good luck to Garcia and Mladenovic for their quarter-finals.

“Bravo @CaroGarcia et bonne chance pour la suite ainsi qu’?@KikiMladenovic! Girls power,” Cornet said.

Garcia, who faces Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova today for a semi-final spot, said she had been the one to initiate the kiss.

“I was just so happy. I just went for it. I mean, everyone was waiting for a very cold match,” said the 23-year-old world No. 27.

“Everyone was surprised. I just tried to stay like a professional player. I play tennis because I enjoy it and I don’t want to get any fight with anyone,” Garcia said. “What happen, happened. We never forget about it. Tennis is a game. I play to enjoy and that’s it.”

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