An accusation of cheating has rocked the third round match at Wimbledon between Australian Ajla Tomljanovic and Jelena Ostapenko.
Tomljanovic came from a set down to win 4-6 6-4 6-2, but the match was marred by some spiteful controversy.
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Tomljanovic was leading the third set 4-0, had won seven games in a row and was on track to comfortably close out the match, before Ostapenko called for a medical timeout.
The 28-year-old was furious that her opponent had called for the trainer but did not appear to be hampered by injury whatsoever.
Tennis players have been criticised over the years for taking medical timeouts strategically in order to compose themselves and stop an opponent’s momentum.
“I cannot continue. I have pain,” Ostapenko old the umpire.
“You know she’s lying, right? We all know,” Tomljanovic argued to the umpire.
“Are you taking into any consideration that she looked fine?”
Ostapenko was allowed to take the medical timeout and returned just three minutes later and managed to break Tomljanovic’s serve.
But the Australian closed out the match and made it very clear she was unimpressed with Ostakpenko’s decision to take a timeout.
What a joke tennis has become. Ostapenko has a meltdown and goes 4-0 down in the third. Calls a medical timeout. Not a single sign of injury. “You know she’s lying” says Tomljanovic. Utter farce
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) July 3, 2021
Tomljanovic celebrated the victory before approaching the net and hesitated before reluctantly shaking Ostapenko’s hand as a fiery exchange ensued.
“If you think I am faking, you can talk to the physio,” the 2017 French Open champion said to Tomljanovic.
“I hope you feel better,” Tomljanovic replied sarcastically.
“Your behaviour is terrible. You have zero respect,” Ostapenko retorted.
“You are the one to talk,” Tomljanovic said.
“What? So bad so bad,” Ostapenko said.
The confrontation overshadowed what was a sensational win for Tomljanovic that sees her progress to the fourth round at Wimbledon — her best ever result at a grand slam.
Originally published as ‘Zero respect’: Wimbledon cheating slur