Tennis star Jelena Ostapenko was jeered after comparing the atmosphere during her Miami Open match to a “football match”.
Ostapenko battled to win 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 against Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia, who had the backing from the majority of the crowd at the WTA 1000 tournament.
Some supporters took it a bit too far, however, cheering when Ostapenko made a mistake. The Latvian star complained to the umpire about the situation a number of times, but the crowd were allowed to continue.
Ostapenko commented on the atmosphere in her post-match interview, prompting jeers from those left in the stands.
What did Jelena Ostapenko say about the hostile Miami Open crowd?
“I’m really happy today to win,” Ostapenko said. “Of course the crowd was mostly against me. A little bit disrespectful, but thanks guys for those who were supporting me.”
The world number 22 then compared the atmosphere to a football match, before revealing that she was often spurred on by an antagonistic crowd.
“I felt like some moments I didn’t play aggressively because the ball really stops here,” she said. “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.”
Video: Watch Jelena Ostapenko get jeered by Miami Open crowd
Who is Jelena Ostapenko?
Ostapenko won the French Open in 2017, stunning the world of tennis as she became the first unseeded woman to triumph at the Grand Slam since 1933.
Now with five WTA titles to her name, including the Eastbourne International and Dubai Tennis Championships, she is known for her eye-catching outfits on court and sometimes controversial behaviour.
Ostapenko angered fans at Wimbledon in 2021, for example, when she called for a medical timeout as she was trailing 4-0 in the final set against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanović.
The third-round match was delayed by more than 10 minutes as Ostapenko received treatment.
She was then booed by the crowd at Wimbledon last year, following her fourth-round defeat to Germany’s Tatjana Maria.
Ostapenko threw a water bottle at her chair before storming off Court One, later claiming her opponent had been “lucky” to win.