WATCH: Ostapenko had to deal with a lot in overcoming Haddad Maia on Miami's Grandstand court.


MIAMI—Jelena Ostapenko had had it officially after overcoming Beatriz Haddad Maia on a rowdy Grandstand court at the Miami Open, referring to the crowd as “disrespectful” both on court and after the match on Saturday.

“Of course, not all of them,” she clarified later in the mixed zone, “But the Brazilian fans were clapping for double faults all these kinds of things. It’s tennis, not a football match. If they come to a tennis match, they have to follow the rules of tennis.

Following that up with the read of the century, she added, “It was great to hear people cheering for me, and they were much nicer and polite, and bigger tennis fans, probably.

Not known for being subdued herself, Ostapenko let loose on match point, yelling and pumping her first towards the crowd after feeding off energy to secure a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory.

“The crowd doesn’t know that if they’re against me, I play much better!” she said with a laugh. “All I wanted was to win so I could show them that I was the winner of the match. That’s the only thing you can do when you’re playing with this type of crowd.

“In general, it’s a nice tournament, of course, and the atmosphere is really nice. It’s just today that things were a bit too crazy.”

The former Roland Garros champion was already more partial to Miami’s original Crandon Park location, where she reached the final in 2018, and arrived in the Sunshine State fresh off a cold that required a lung x-ray after over a week of severe symptoms.

“I was taking antibiotics for an ear inflammation, cough, runny nose, sore throat, everything,” she told me after a Tennis Channel shoot on Wedesday. “Thankfully it wasn’t COVID, but I felt really bad for 12 days, even through the two matches I played.”

Her wild run at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden featured a pair of bagel sets with Petra Kvitova, who ultimately won, 0-6, 6-0, 6-4.

“When you wake up in the morning and your ear is completely blocked, and then you go to play a match and your other ear gets blocked, you’re thinking, ‘What can I do?’ But it’s good that I was able to start the recovery treatment straightaway. Of course, it’s a little bit tough because I didn’t practice for four or five days. When I tried, I was coughing non-stop.”

Needless to say, she was reticent to endorse Frances Tiafoe’s calls for a more open match experience, one that would include music and freedom of movement for fans in the stands.

“Tennis is a support with so many traditions, and the people who watch tennis are very polite and they know how to behave. Of course, there are crazy fans everywhere, but in general it’s very different and it’s hard to say how that would be because everyone is so used to this way in tennis for so many years. I don’t know how it’s going to be if they change it. I think it would be a completely different sport.”

Ostapenko will nonetheless do what she can to pump up the volume with her game as she awaits the winner of Claire Liu and Martina Trevisan in the fourth round.