Jelena Ostapenko slams 'disrespectful' crowd in ugly Miami Open drama

The Latvian has once again been caught up in some tennis drama.

Jelena Ostapenko reacts to the crowd and Ostapenko conducts an interview.
Jelena Ostapenko (pictured) took aim at the Miami Open crowd for their behaviour during her win over Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia. (Images: @TennisTV)

Controversial tennis star Jelena Ostapenko has blasted the Miami Open crowd in her on-court interview after 'football' like scenes during her win over Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia. Ostapenko has been in fine form recently and it has continued in Miami after knocking out Maia 6-2 4-6 6-3.

However, the fiery Latvian complained a number of times over the boisterous crowd with many cheering loudly for the Brazilian. The chair umpire allowed the atmosphere, which appeared to frustrate Ostapenko when the crowd cheered her mistakes.

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After the match, Ostapenko quickly blasted the crowd for being 'disrespectful'. This prompted some jeers from the stands.

"I'm really happy today to win," she said. "Of course the crowd was mostly against me. A little bit disrespectful, but thanks guys for those who were supporting me."

She added that the crowd's animosity only inspired her on the court. "I felt like some moments I didn't play aggressively because the ball really stops here," Ostapenko added.

"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."

In typical Ostapenko-style, the comments caused an almighty stir in the tennis world. Ostapenkoa has made a habit of 'drive-by' handshakes and firing up her opponents with her on-court antics.

However, this time, many tennis fans agreed that members of the Miami Open crowd had crossed the line in cheering against Ostapenko. Others claimed Ostapenko was continuing her divisive role on the WTA Tour.

Upsets galore at the Miami Open

While Ostapenko advanced, Coco Gauff let slip a lead and lost five games in a row to lose 6-7 (8-10) 7-5 6-2 loss to Anastasia Potapova in the third round. The No.6-seeded Gauff was aware she played within herself in the third set as she became defensive after serving for the victory at 5-3 in the second set on Saturday.

When the 27th-seeded Potapova forced a third set with a backhand winner, she dropped her racket, clenched both fists, leaned forward and yelled. "It was a very tough match. It was very physical and it was very hot out there," Potapova said.

"I was trying to stay cool and just fight for every point and (not) think about the score, especially in the second set." After the match, Gauff was critical of her performance and said her mind was elsewhere.

Jelena Ostapenko gesturing after a point.
Jelena Ostapenko (pictured) was involved in a running battle with the crowd against Beatriz Haddad Maia. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

"I think it should be more used as a tool in a toolbox than as a weapon," the 19-year-old said. "I think I have to change my mentality in the game about not relying on that too much because I think sometimes I play a little bit too passive because I know I can get to balls.

She later added: "My mind just wasn't all the way in today."

Potapova, who had been 0-2 against Gauff previously, next faces Zheng Qinwen in the fourth round after the Chinese world No.23 beat Liudmila Samsonova 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

Other results included Jessica Pegula's 6-1 7-6 (7-0) win over fellow American Danielle Collins. Magda Linette enjoyed a 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 6-4 victory over three-time Miami Open champion Victoria Azarenka.

with AAP

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