Dayana Yastremska’s coach has fired the latest shot in an ugly war of words between his player and Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open.
Wozniacki had some pointed words for Yastremska after the young Ukrainian took a controversial medical timeout late in their clash on Wednesday.
‘GOT TO BE KIDDING’: Federer stuns Australian Open with 'outrageous' act
Yastremska took the medical timeout and had her left thigh taped while down 5-4 in the second set and on the brink of defeat, a move that Wozniacki suggested was simply gamesmanship.
“Yeah, obviously she tried to break my rhythm,” Wozniacki said after the match.
“And at 5-4 I don't think there is anything wrong. She was running just fine. So that's a trick that she's done before, and I knew that it was coming.
“But I was just trying to stay focused. I had match point. I had chances. I didn't take them. Some of them she played well; some of them I played too passively.
“In the end I just tried to keep focusing, just keep grinding, keep hanging in there. And I finally made it at 6-5 for me, and that was a nice relief.”
A number of tennis pundits agreed with Wozniacki, pointing out that Yastremska has pulled the same move in the past.
But Yastremska’s coach Sascha Bajin has since come out in support of his player in an attempt to “shut some people up”.
“Dayana was really struggling since days with her leg, but since y’all are all doctors and coaches you know better then (sic) she herself or our whole team who’s working with her,” Bajin, who coached Naomi Osaka to the 2019 Australian Open crown, posted on Twitter.
Just to shut some people up and end this useless convo. Dayana was really struggling since days with her leg, but since y’all are all doctors and coaches you know better then she herself or our whole team who’s working with her. #focusOnYourself— sascha Bajin (@BigSascha) January 22, 2020
Yastremska was also quick to dismiss suggestions of gamesmanship after the match.
“I took (the time-out) because I felt I needed it,” she said.
Tennis expert Ben Rothenberg was among those to call out Yastremska’s actions, with some labelling them ‘shameful’ and ‘atrocious’.
Dayana Yastremska loses momentum and calls a medical timeout.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 22, 2020
This is my shocked face. 😐 #AusOpen
Her pattern of obvious gamesmanship is really shameful. She should know better by now. She has a great game but hard to cheer for with all the antics.— Stefan (@stefnkap) January 22, 2020
It’s a disgrace.— Not Cheryl Kernot (@notcherylkernot) January 22, 2020
Wozniacki staves off retirement
Wozniacki had tears in her eyes as she kept alive her dreams of a triumphant farewell to tennis.
The 29-year-old former World No.1 roared back in both sets to defeat her 23rd-seeded opponent 7-5, 7-5.
Neil Diamond's hit "Sweet Caroline" rang around a blustery Margaret Court Arena after the Dane nailed her sixth match point to reach the third round.
She plays Ons Jabeur of Tunisia on Friday.
"It's a little bit emotional for me," said Wozniacki, the 2018 Australian Open winner who announced in December that this would be her final tournament.
"The crowd really got behind me so that was so special. Thank you everyone for coming out today, it really means a lot to me," she added, fighting back tears.