Paris: Grieving Virginie Razzano, playing the French Open in honour of her fiance, who died from a brain tumour eight days ago, suffered an emotional first-round defeat on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Frenchwoman, who was comfortably beaten 6-3, 6-1 by Australian Jarmila Gajdosova, had been urged to compete at Roland Garros by fiance and coach Stephane Vidal, who had battled cancer for nine years.
"I am very emotional, I was here for Stephane," said Razzano.
"It was really hard to come on the court, there was a lot of emotion and a lot of pain. That pain will always be there. I tried to make a tribute to Stephane.
"It was mission impossible but I gave my all."
Razzano was wearing a black ribbon on her shirt as a mark of respect for Vidal, a gesture which has been adopted by all the French players in the women's draw in Paris.
Gajdosova, too, has seen upheaval in her personal life, although not to the same devastating extent.
The 24-year-old Slovakian-born player married Australian tour player Sam Groth in February 2009 before the couple split three weeks ago and she reverted to her maiden name.
"It's only been three weeks, people talk and have their own opinions and reactions," said Gajdosova, as she reflected on her marriage break-up.
"I am human after all and I can only try to cope as best I can. I have good people around me and they have helped. Time will heal and I'll move forward."
Gajdosova embraced Razzano, who she first played as a 14-year-old, at the net after the match on Court Philippe Chatrier.
"I told her I was sorry for her loss and that she was incredible to come on court. I told her to hold her head high and wished her the best for the future," said the Australian 24th seed.
"It's difficult to play someone who is hurting."
Razzano said she had been touched by Gajdosova's words at the net.
"I really appreciated the gesture, it was very warm on her part," she said.
Gajdosova next meets either Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues or Italian qualifier Corrina Dentoni for a place in the last 32.