Crowd was cheering for her to lose, so this tennis 'brat' did the opposite

crowd was cheering for her to lose, so this tennis 'brat' did the opposite

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia reacts as she receives medical attention in her loss to Petra Kvitova of The Czech Republic during the BNP Parisbas at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 12, 2023 in Indian Wells, California.

Jelena Ostapenko is no stranger to controversies, but in the most recent case, she may have scored a point.

The Latvian tennis player was up against Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia this weekend when things took a boisterous turn.

The 25-year-old repeatedly complained the crowd was loudly cheering for Maia. The chair umpire’s decision to let the crowd cheer further frustrated her. They were mockingly cheering even when Ostapenko was making a mistake.

Although she won 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, it wasn’t without some finger-pointing.

“I’m really happy today to win,” she said after the game. “Of course the crowd was mostly against me. A little bit disrespectful, but thanks guys for those who were supporting me.”

She said the crowd’s ‘disrespect’ further fueled her desire to win.

“I felt like some moments I didn’t play aggressively because the ball really stops here,” she added. “You always really have to go for the ball. I’m just really glad I won it because I really wanted to win. The crowd doesn’t know: if they are against me, I play even better.”

In typical Ostapenko-style, “the comments caused an almighty stir in the tennis world. However, this time, many tennis fans agreed that members of the Miami Open crowd had crossed the line in cheering against Ostapenko,” said Yahoo! Sport.

Ostapenko’s crowd response wasn’t the only upset at Miami Open.

Canada’s Denis Shapovalov lost to Taylor Fritz in straight sets (4-6, 4-6) this Saturday. Although Bianca Andreescu kept the Canadian dream alive with her win over Sofia Kenin (6-4, 6-4) on Sunday. So did Felix Auger-Aliassime with a hard win of 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8) over Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro on Saturday.

Tennis ‘brat’ — as per Australian media — Ostapenko has a bit of a reputation when it comes to on-court drama and “it is not a secret that she is not one of the favorite players in the locker room,” Tennis World USA notes.

“Let’s just say I practiced with her once and chose not to do so again,” said former tennis champ Caroline Wozniacki, per Daily Mail, during a commentary on Australian Open in January this year.

Ostapenko was also in the middle of a scandal involving Australian player Ajla Tomljanovic during the 2021 Wimbledon grand slam.

Tomljanovic accused Ostapenko of faking a medical injury during a game and taking a time-out.

“You know she’s lying,” Tomljanovic told the umpire, ESPN reports. “If you think I’m faking it, you can talk with the physio,” Ostapenko said. “Your behavior is terrible. You have zero respect.” Tomljanovic replied, “You’re one to talk.”

Tomljanovic went on to win the game 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

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