Zhang Shuai cries in press conference after crashing out of French Open

Chinese tennis star Zhang Shuai burst into tears at her French Open press conference after being dumped out of the tournament by Magdalena Frech in the opening round. Zhang hit seven double faults and only scored 11 points on her serve as she was beaten 6-1, 6-1 in Paris.

When she faced Chinese media after the defeat, Zhang looked extremely distressed and struggled to speak without sobbing. The world No 31 has been in a terrible rut recently and has now lost eight matches in a row this year.

Zhang is under pressure outside of the court due to her rocky relationship with the Chinese Tennis Federation. She has not returned to China for three years and despite being the highest-ranked player in her home country she was not selected to represent China at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The decision was reportedly connected to her insistence on playing at Wimbledon in 2021, which ended just 11 days before the Olympics.

As heartbreaking photos emerged online of Zhang crying, Australian tennis star John Millman rushed to the 34-year-old’s defence.

“Quite easy to sit on the sofa and be critical of a players form,” he tweeted. “There’s so much abuse players face, especially online. Yet those abusing have no idea, nor care, for what potentially a person is going through – whether that be physically or mentally. Hope Shuai is alright.”

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Meanwhile, others were quick to rally behind her as well. One fan (@MariaMihV) wrote: “Awwww….. Shuai @zhangshuai121 you are such a wonderful person and athlete with great sportsmanship. I’m sorry to hear of your sadness.”

Another (@kvittycat53) added: “So sad, she is such a likeable player and so nice with her hugs. Hope someone is looking out for her well-being @WTA.”

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