Ajla Tomljanovic wins fiery clash while Angelique Kerber and Coco Gauff progress
Jelena Ostapenko and Ajla Tomljanovic traded insults after their Wimbledon third-round match ended on a sour note while Angelique Kerber and Coco Gauff enjoyed wins.
Tomljanovic accused the former French Open champion of lying about an injury when she asked to see a physio as the Australian was about to serve at 4-0 up in the deciding set.
Ostapenko went for a medical timeout and won the next two games before Tomljanovic finished the job to seal a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win and set up a fourth-round meeting with British star Emma Raducanu.
The handshake at the end of the match was far from cordial as the fiery Latvian said she had “zero respect” for her opponent and later stated in her press conference that she would have won had she been able to play at just 50 per cent.
Tomljanovic responded by calling her behaviour “disgraceful”.
“I think it was very disrespectful what she did,” Ostapenko said. “I mean, how can you say liar or something if you know zero about it, maybe I already had this injury before.
“Maybe it’s not new pain or something. How can you say this? You cannot say that. In front of everybody, call me liar? I don’t think it’s respectful from her side.
“I think my level today was, like, not good after the first set, because if I played at least 50 per cent I would have beaten her.”
Tomljanovic retorted: “She can say she was injured. I don’t think she was. There was nothing wrong with her the whole match, but then why on 4-0 she calls it?
“So I think that that’s a clear reason that she just wanted to get me off my game.
“Then to top it all off, for her to call me disrespectful at the end of the match is just, at that point, it’s laughable. I think it’s disgraceful behaviour from someone that is a slam champion, because kids look at her and, what, they see that?”
Emma Raducanu continued her Wimbledon fairytale by becoming the youngest ever British woman to make it to the fourth round with a 6-3 7-5 win over Sorana Cirstea.
It is a miraculous achievement from the 18-year-old, who is ranked 338 in the world and was handed a wild card, given she only played her first ever WTA Tour match last month and put her tennis career on hold during the coronavirus pandemic in order to concentrate on her A-Levels.
“It’s incredible. I’m so grateful for this wild card,” she said. “Honestly, I just wanted to make the most out of it, try to show that I earned it, try to make the most out of it. I’m really grateful for the All England Club’s support in taking a chance on me.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 3, 2021
“And the way that I’m approaching my matches is each time I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why not?’. Like today, I was like, ‘Someone has to be in the second week, why not me?’. I think that’s how I’m approaching it.
“I’m just trying to stay here as long as possible. As I said, I’m just having such a blast. Everything is so well taken care of that it’s such a pleasure to be here.”
Raducanu has disposed Coco Gauff as the teenage darling of SW19, though the 17-year-old joined the Brit in the next round with a convincing win over Kaja Juvan.
Opening the bill on Centre Court, the American won 6-3, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Angelique Kerber.
— Angelique Kerber (@AngeliqueKerber) July 3, 2021
Kerber is the only former champion left in the draw and was grateful for the rain break in her 2-6 6-0 6-1 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
The German was trailing 1-5 in the first set when the heavens opened and after the resumption let her opponent win just two more games.
She said: “I really had a late start, let’s say it like this. Of course, I mean, it was good that it was raining a little bit.”
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova continued her best ever run at SW19 with a 7-6 (7-1), 3-6, 7-5 win over Anastasija Sevastova while Karolina Muchova, the 19th seed, beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3 and Paula Badosa, who had never previously won here, saw off Magda Linette 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.
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