Caroline Wozniacki spills on Jelena Ostapenko feud at Australian Open

The former champion let the cat out of the bag in a telling remark about Jelena Ostapenko during the Australian Open.

Pictured right is Caroline Wozniacki and Latvian tennis player Jelena Ostapenko on the left.
Caroline Wozniacki made a less than flattering comment about Jelena Ostapenko during her fourth round win at the Australian Open. Pic: Getty

Retired tennis great Caroline Wozniacki provided a telling clue about her feelings towards Jelena Ostapenko after a less than flattering remark about the Latvian at the Australian Open. The 2017 French Open champion kept the upsets going at Melbourne Park on Sunday after knocking out seventh seed Coco Gauff in the last-16.

Ostapenko booked a quarter-final showdown against Elena Rybakina after the reigning Wimbledon champion sprang another upset by beating World No.1 Iga Swiatek, 6-4 6-4. The Latvian last reached the final eight of a grand slam at Wimbledon four and a half years ago and has been clawing her way back into the top echelons of women's tennis after dropping outside the top-40 in 2019.

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Ostapenko has a reputation as being one of the most combative players on the women's tour and has rubbed more than a few players up the wrong way over the years. Calling the Latvian's match as part of the team for ESPN, the retired Danes alluded to that fact in a not-so-subtle swipe at Ostapenko on air.

"Let's just say I practiced with her once and chose not to do so again," Wozniacki revealed on the coverage. Ostapenko was at the centre of a famous feud involving Aussie star Ajla Tomljanovic during the 2021 Wimbledon grand slam.

Tomljanovic was less than impressed when the Latvian took a medical timeout at a crucial stage of the contest. The Aussie star accused her opponent of "lying" before eventually sealing a win against the Latvian, who she exchanged angry words with after the match.

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"If you think I'm faking, you can talk to the physio," Ostapenko said, before labelling Tomljanovic's behaviour as "terrible" insisting she had "zero respect". The Aussie fired back: "Honestly, you're one to talk," before Ostapenko labelled her "the worst player on the tour."

Retired Aussie tennis star-turned commentator Casey Dellacqua went on to explain Ostapenko's "reputation" on your after that frosty exchange with Tomljanovic. "Ostapenko's got a reputation, I believe, of not being the fairest competitor on tour," Dellacqua told the Nine Network at the time.

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Jelena Ostapenko high on confidence at Aus Open

Love her or hate her, there is no denying the form that Ostapenko is in at the Australian Open. Speaking after her win against Gauff, the 25-year-old was forthright when asked if it would be good to have more players like her on tour.

"With me it's never boring on the court, so I think that's what the fans like," Ostapenko said. "Of course, sometimes I can go a little bit too much, but I'm an emotional person in general. So it's always hard to find this balance.

Seen here, Jelena Ostapenko celebrates after her fourth round win against Coco Gauff at the Australian Open.
Jelena Ostapenko celebrates after her fourth round win against Coco Gauff at the Australian Open. Pic: Getty

"As I always said, it's easy to judge from the outside, but when you are on my place, it's a little bit different. All the people are different. Somebody is more calm. Somebody is more emotional. So I try to find a balance... I feel like this week is a bit better."

The World No.17 was also bullish about her prospects of winning another grand slam singles title after failing to kick on from her breakthrough success at Roland Garros as a 19-year-old in 2017. "I honestly haven't really doubted it," she said about the prospect of winning another major.

The 25-year-old Ostapenko was just 19 when her life was changed by winning the French Open and she said it took a long time to adjust after being thrust into the spotlight. "I always knew and believed in my game. If I play well, I can beat almost anyone," she added.

"Everybody expected you almost to win every single tournament, which is crazy, because you are still a human and you cannot feel great every day," she said of the expectation placed on her young shoulders. I needed some time to get used to it. Of course, a lot of attention from everywhere outside the court, like photo shoots and all those kind of things.

"You become more popular in your country. Everybody is watching you. Of course it's great, but I needed some time to get used to it. I'm just more hungry now to win another grand slam and just to play well, to be back in the top 10 and just to play consistent."

Ostapenko will fancy her chances if she can get past Rybakina, with seven of the top 10 women's seeds already culled in a tournament that has become a bloodbath for the game's star names. Swiatek's defeat means the top two seeds in both the men's and women's singles have been knocked out before the quarter-finals for the first time at a major since the Open era began in 1968.

with agencies

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