Jelena Ostapenko in 'feisty' clash with Danielle Collins: 'Excuse me'

The American appeared to take aim at someone in the controversial tennis star's player's box.

American Danielle Collins (pictured far left) speaking to the chair umpire and (pictured right) Jelena Ostapenko shaking hands.
American Danielle Collins (pictured far left) has appeared to take aim at someone in the crowd during her match against Jelena Ostapnko (pictured right) in Abu Dhabi. (Images: Twitter)

American Danielle Collins has appeared to take aim at someone in the crowd, potentially at her rival's player's box, during her loss to controversial player Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi. Ostapenko rallied back in a hard-fought and fiery clash to defeat the American 7-5, 1-6, 7-5.

However, both players are fiery competitors and Collins appeared to take umbrage with something said from a spectator in the first set. Collins appeared to say 'excuse me' to a member of the crowd, before walking towards the chair umpire and pleading her case.

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Many claimed, including tennis great Rennae Stubbs, that Collins' anger was directed at someone in Ostapenko's player's box. Collins was clearly upset, but Ostapenko took a seat during the changeover as the American took her complaint to the chair umpire.

Many fans expected the encounter between two battle-hardened players to bring the fireworks. And the match lived-up to the hype with drama surrounding the match.

Following her win, Ostapenko let out a roar after the No.5 seed defeated the dangerous American. Collins showed class at the end and shook hands with Ostapenko - who is known for her 'drive-by' handshakes - but the moment appeared to linger.

Fans couldn't get enough of the controversy during a match that seemed to have it all.

Despite the drama, Ostapenko offered Collins praise in her post-match press conference. "Danielle is a great player, and it's always a tough match against her because she plays really well and she's such a fighter," Ostapenko said.

"The match is never over until we shake hands. I'm really glad that, even though in some games I didn't play my best, I was fighting and I managed to win the match. These kinds of matches give confidence.

Jelena Ostapenko in Australian Open drama

Ostapenko has often found herself embroiled in controversy during tennis matches and her exit from the Australian Open was no different. Ostapenko lost against finalist Elena Rybakina in the quarter-final and appeared unhappy at the end of the match. Ostapenko offered a cold handshake to winner Rybakina at the net, which sparked controversy.

Rybakina was in remarkable form - which saw her win a maiden grand slam title in 2022 - and outclassed Ostapenko to advance to her second semi-final in the last three majors.

Ostapenko was clearly frustrated throughout the match and offered Rybakina a 'drive-by' handshake, before she picked up her bags and was off the court within a matter of seconds.

with AAP

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