Sore loser Jelena Ostapenko was booed off court at Wimbledon after throwing a water bottle at her chair after loss. Ostapenko also claimed Tatjana Maria, who came back from a year-long maternity leave, was “lucky” to win.
Ostapenko, a former French Open champion, threw a bottle at her choice that toppled over just before rushing off the court after a 7-5 5-7 5-7 loss to Maria. Ostapenko had lost two match points to lose the game.
“I just made mistakes. She just collected all my mistakes, unforced errors, and that’s how she won today. I thought it was my match, I had to win it, and she got just so lucky in some moments so she could come back. I felt I was the player who had to win this match today,” Ostapenko said later.
She acknowledged that her frustration with the loss led to her throwing the water bottle.
“Of course I had emotion. I’m a human, and it’s normal. I’m not going to let it go and say, ‘it’s fine, I lost, and it’s fine’. “I mean, it’s always annoying to lose such a match, especially when you know you were a better player and you were a favourite in this match,” she said. “No, it’s not fine. Obviously I’m an emotional player. I hate losing, as I said before, because I’m such a competitive person.”
The two-time mother Maria was thrilled with her win. “I’m now in the quarter-final of Wimbledon, so it’s really amazing for me. This means also that you always have to keep going. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it doesn’t matter how many kids you have, you just have to keep going and to believe in yourself.” MARIA lambasts WTA for not supporting pregnant players. In March this year, Tatiana had criticised the WTA for not supporting pregnant women more.
On the Tour, mothers who make a comeback can only apply under the protected ranking for a player who has been injured for a long time. Maria returned four weeks early from her leave so that she was allowed to play eight instead of 12 tournaments with her protected ranking. “In tennis, pregnant women are not referred to as pregnant, we are more or less among the injured players. In the case of a pregnancy, the same rules currently apply as for long-injured players.
“We already have some mothers on tour. I think the rule should be changed a bit so that there is a separate rule for pregnant women,” Maria told sportschau.de. “We’re really great role models for all the players on the tour who just want to start a family. In today’s world, female athletes can simply play tennis longer, and many players are just a bit older. And professional sport and motherhood are both possible at the same time.
I don’t understand that the WTA hasn’t created an extra rule for pregnant women and we have to use the rule for injured people. I also find it strange that the men on the ATP tour have the same rules for injuries. But if a player returns to the tour, the ‘Protected Ranking applies’ for all four Grand Slam tournaments. I don’t understand why it only counts for two Grand Slams for us women and we have such a difference. It can’t be that difficult to create your own rule,” Maria had said.