WATCH: Jelena Ostapenko calls out ‘disrespectful’ crowd
Jelena Ostapenko had a cheeky response to a hostile reception at the Miami Open when she faced Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Ostapenko went as far as to complain to the umpire during the match as she described the fans behaviour as being like they were at a football match.
After her victory, Ostapenko appeared to have cooled off a little and could laugh about the experience.
Ostapenko also warned that having the crowd on her back helps her get fired up.
“I’m really happy today to win,” Ostapenko said.
“Of course the crowd was mostly against me. A little bit disrespectful, but thanks guys for those who were supporting me.”
She felt that the crowd gave her that little bit of a push to find her best game and be a bit more aggressive.
“I felt like some moments I didn’t play aggressively because the ball really stops here,” she said.
“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.”
Jelena Ostapenko calling the crowd disrespectful and then smiling at them right after is such a mood.
This woman can do no wrong. pic.twitter.com/eVFhaEyKln
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) March 25, 2023
Ostapenko now leads Haddad Maia 4-0 at the professional level. Including two junior encounters, Ostapenko has won all six meetings with Haddad Maia.
She hit 41 winners, including six aces, compared to Haddad Maia’s more modest 17. Trailing 1- 4 in the second set, Ostapenko managed to level matters at 5-5 with five clean return winners, but she could not quite clinch the set.
Haddad Maia missed the first six break points she generated on the Ostapenko serve, until she found a backhand return winner to take the seventh for 2-1 in the second set. Overall, Haddad Maia converted four of 14 break points, while Ostapenko took six out of 12.
Trailing 3-1 in the third set, Ostapenko regained her form and won what proved to be the last five games of the match in a row, taking 20 of the last 23 points and finishing the match with another superb forehand winner.
This is the second time Ostapenko has reached the fourth round in Miami. The last time she made it to the final was in 2018, when she also beat Haddad Maia in the third round.
In her next match at the Hard Rock Stadium, Ostapenko will face Miami Open 25th seed Martina Trevisan of Italy for the first time.
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