Caroline Wozniacki caught up in 'disrespectful' drama as dream US Open run continues

The former Australian Open champion had the crowd on her side as she took down Petra Kvitova.

Caroline Wozniacki had the fans on her side as she beat Petra Kvitova at the US Open. Image: Getty
Caroline Wozniacki had the fans on her side as she beat Petra Kvitova at the US Open. Image: Getty

The US Open crowd has once again drawn the ire of the rest of the tennis world after some unsavoury treatment of Petra Kvitova in her clash with Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday (AEST). Playing in her first grand slam in nearly four years after coming out of retirement, Wozniacki advanced to the third round with a 7-5 7-6 (5) win over Kvitova.

The Danish champion, who won the Australian Open in 2018, lives in America and was a clear fan-favourite at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Thursday. But many felt the crowd took their support of Wozniacki too far after they started cheering Kvitova's faults and unforced errors late in the match.

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As the match headed to a second-set tiebreak and Wozniacki gained championship points, fans could be heard cheering and whistling every time Kvitova made a mistake. Channel 9 commentator Brenton Speed was highly critical of the crowd display, saying: "We don't need that sort of thing, surely."

US Open crowd under fire after Coco Cauff controversy

The US Open crowd has never been known for their class and sportsmanship, and loudly booed Laura Siegemund during her first-round loss to home hope Coco Gauff on Tuesday. Fans and Gauff both grew tired of some stalling tactics from Siegemund and made their feelings known.

Sigemund was later reduced to tears in her press conference, saying fans "treated her like a cheater". The German added: "At the end of the day I go home and I look at myself and I can say I did a great job, but did I get anything from people for that? I didn't.

"Maybe it's not zero. Maybe it feels like zero right now. But it feels pretty much like a flat zero, even less than zero because they treated me bad. Like they treated me like I was a cheater. Like I was like, trying sneaky ways to win this match or something. They treated me like I was a bad person."

Caroline Wozniacki, pictured here after beating Petra Kvitova at the US Open.
Caroline Wozniacki celebrates after beating Petra Kvitova at the US Open. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Viewers were also left fuming over the crowd's treatment of Kvitova on Thursday, considering she's a two-time Wimbledon champion and one of the most-liked players in tennis. At one stage the Czech player told the umpire "it's so noisy".

Caroline Wozniacki continues fairytale return to tennis

Wozniacki walked away from the sport after the Australian Open in 2020 to start a family. The 33-year-old now has two children with husband, former NBA player David Lee.

Wozniacki returned to professional tennis earlier this month in Cincinnati and is back at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2019. She was the runner-up at the US Open in 2009 and 2014.

The Dane overcame some wobbles on Thursday, most notably when she held her first two match points at 5-4 in the second set and failed to convert either. But her game was good enough to hang in there and pull out the tiebreaker for a remarkable win.

Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova, pictured here after their US Open clash.
Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova embrace after their US Open clash. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

After shaking hands with Kvitova, Wozniacki sat in her chair, leaned forward and covered her face with both hands. She leaned back, glanced over at her father and Lee in the stands and smiled, with tears welling in her eyes.

"This couldn't be better. It's a dream come true," she said in her on-court interview. "If you had asked me three years ago I would have said I'll never be back here, playing on this court."

with agencies

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