Taylor Fritz knocked out the last French player standing at Roland Garros on Thursday and mockingly shushed the boisterous, partisan night-time crowd.
The American world number eight defeated Arthur Rinderknech 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 and celebrated by placing his finger to his lips as the majority of fans roundly booed and jeered him.
“The crowd was just so great that I had to let it fire me up. They cheered so well for me, I wanted to make sure I won. Thanks guys,” the American said sarcastically in his on-court interview as the jeers continued.
The 25-year-old had become irritated throughout the match as fans sang the French national anthem in a desperate bid to push their last remaining hope into the next round.
Pleas by the chair umpire for quiet during the rallies went unheeded.
As Fritz performed an exaggerated and theatrical bow to his tormentors at the end of the match, Rinderknech responded by drawing a heart in the clay on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
However, that brief thaw in the atmosphere won’t hide the bitter truth for French tennis.
Of the 28 home players who started out in the tournament on Sunday, none managed to make the third round.
The only other time the host nation had suffered such an embarrassing wipe-out was 2021.
“After hearing about it at least 200 times in the crowd, I was aware of it,” said 78th-ranked Rinderknech of his country’s woeful performance this week.
“I did my best.”
Fritz has now equalled his best ever performance at the French Open.
He will face Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo for a spot in the fourth round.