"Love when Jelena Ostapenko shuts up annoying crowds with her talent" - Tennis fans stand by Latvian for tearing into "disrespectful" Miami Open crowd
Tennis fans extended their support to Jelena Ostapenko after she slammed a section of the spectators for "disrespecting" her during her third-round win at the 2023 Miami Open.
Ostapenko edged out World No. 14 Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 21 minutes to reach the fourth round. Breaking her opponent six times, the 22nd-ranked player also improved her head-to-head record against the 26-year-old Brazilian to 4-0.
Numerous Brazilian fans who were supporting Haddad Maia were in attendance at the Grandstand Court on Saturday. In an on-court interview after the match, Ostapenko called out a portion of the crowd, saying that she felt like she was in a football match.
"I'm really happy today to win and of course, the crowd was mostly against me, a little bit disrespectful, but thanks guys who were supporting me," the 25-year-old Latvian said. "I really appreciate it. And yeah, I'm just really proud of myself that I was fighting and felt like on a football match today, you know."
Fans showed their support for the former World No. 5, saying that it was wrong for the spectators to rejoice about a player's double faults.
"And she was right to say it! Cheering on someone’s double faults and between their first and second serves is in fact disrespectful no matter how you twist it," a fan tweeted.
"The crowd were dreadful. Cheer for your favourite by all means but cheering every error made by Ostapenko. I know she can be feisty but I do enjoy watching her play," a user wrote.
"Penko pulls no punches. She is so spontaneous that remarks which when made by most other players, would feel offensive, feel almost charming when coming from her," another tweet read.
Here are a few more fan reactions:
Jelena Ostapenko will continue playing tennis even after Latvian government suspended her funding
Earlier this month, the Latvian government declared that it would suspend the funding of athletes who participated in sporting events that were attended by Russian and Belarusian players.
Jelena Ostapenko reacted strongly by saying that she had no control over organizing tournaments. She added that despite the difficulty, she would continue to play tennis since she was a professional.
"Of course, they contacted me, but to be honest, I can't really influence anything because I don't organize tournaments. The WTA organizes these tournaments and I don't have the opportunity to play elsewhere," The 2017 French Open champion said. (via apollo.lv)
"Basically, it means that I cannot play in any tournament," she added. "I have to quit tennis. I will not do that because I am a tennis player and this is my sport. Unfortunately, that is the reality."
24th-seed Ostapenko will next face 25th-seed Martina Trevisan of Italy in the fourth round of the 2023 Miami Open.