Watch: Victoria Azarenka shuts down Jelena Ostapenko's 'disrespectful' act

Ostapenko offered quite a bizarre gesture following the conclusion of her Doha match against Azarenka.

by Dzevad Mesic
Watch: Victoria Azarenka shuts down Jelena Ostapenko's 'disrespectful' act
© WTA - X

Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka's match again didn't go without any drama as the Latvian refused to shake the Belarusian's hand following their Doha match.

On Wednesday, former world No. 1 Azarenka ousted eighth-seeded Ostapenko 6-0 6-3 in the Doha round-of-16. Moments after sealing the win, Azarenka turned to her team and pointed with a finger at her head - seemingly gesturing that her mindset got the job done against Ostapenko. 

As Azarenka was approaching Ostapenko at the net for a handshake, the Latvian actually stopped but offered her racket for a tap instead of her hand. As soon as Azarenka noticed Ostapenko's act, she just turned around her head and went straight to the head. Presumably, Azarenka felt Ostapenko's act was disrespectful. 

For world No. 11 Ostapenko, it was her third loss of the season to Azarenka. Now, 34-year-old Azarenka owns a 5-0 head-to-head against Ostapenko, having also beaten the 26-year-old Latvian in their first two meetings in 2019 and 2021, respectively. 

Jelena Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko© Getty Images Sport - Daniel Pockett

Going into the Doha match, it was expected to be a tight battle. But Azarenka came out firing and absolutely dominating Ostapenko as the Belarusian didn't drop a single game in the first set. 

After losing the first set, Ostapenko had chances to bounce back in the second set but she missed out on three break points in the first game of the set and two more break points in the fifth game. Ostapenko paid the price for blowing five early break points as Azarenka earned the first break of the set in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead before serving out for the match in the following game.

Drama in the Ostapenko-Azarenka Brisbane match

In their first tournament of the season, Ostapenko and Azarenka met as the Belarusian beat the Latvian 6-3 3-6 7-5 in the Brisbane quarterfinal. At 4-4 in the third set and with Azarenka having advantage on her serve, Ostapenko thought that the ball touched the surface twice before the Belarusian got it back into the play. 

The chair umpire didn't call anything and Azarenka ended up converting her game point. Ostapenko then absolutely lost it and unloaded at chair umpire Julie Kjendlie

"You are blind, it is impossible to play when you make so many mistakes. I never want you at my match again, you will never be at my match. You ruin my matches," Ostapenko was heard shouting at umpire Kjendlie during her Brisbane match versus Azarenka.

Jelena Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko© Bradley Kanaris / Stringer Getty Images Sport

“I think it’s something you kind of expect,” Azarenka said of Ostapenko’s antics after their Australian Open match. 

After the match, a frustrated Ostapenko didn't shake hands with chair umpire Kendlie. 

Two weeks later, Ostapenko and Azarenka met again at the Australian Open. Again, Azarenka ended on the winning side, beating Ostapenko 6-1 7-5. After beating Ostapenko in the Australian Open third round, Azarenka candidly answered how she feels about Ostapenko's antics.

“She’s doing what she’s doing. It’s actually interesting because I feel like it doesn’t necessarily always affect her. When she’s winning, she’s like this; when she’s losing, she’s like this. I think it’s just how she deals with herself on the court," Azarenka said of Ostapenko's antics. 

“I can’t speak for how she feels and why she does it. Some of [Ostapenko’s] line callings, I mean, it can be a bit comical … I just think that’s how she is. I don’t necessarily judge. I’m just there to play a match.

“If I can, let’s say, destabilise her, that’s part of my job – it’s what’s going to make me play better and that’s what’s going to make me win – [but] I’m not saying destabilising intentionally or something like that.”

What Azarenka thinks of Ostapenko's game?

While there may be some tension between Azarenka and Ostapenko, the Belarusian respects 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko's game. 

"It was not an easy round, for sure. Jelena is a great player. She's very dangerous. Great champion. Grand Slam champion. I knew she's coming off of a really good form. We just played a couple weeks ago in Brisbane. It was a really tough battle," Azarenka said after beating Azarenka in Melbourne.

"I knew I had to start my match strong and try to put as much pressure as I can to not let her dictate the play. I think I've done that really well in the first set.

"Of course, she was kind of able to step up a little bit in the second set. But I felt like I kept going to try to create my opportunities. When I did, I felt like I've done really well to convert them."

Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

After her opening five tournaments of the year, Ostapenko owns a 14-3 record. As you can see, Ostapenko has won every match in 2024 where Azarenka wasn't her opponent. 

In two tournaments where Ostapenko didn't meet Azarenka this year, she ended up winning the title - Adelaide and Linz. 

Considering that they have played already three times after just a month and a half into the season, it seems likely that there will be more meetings between Ostapenko and Azarenka in the remainder of the year. 

Victoria Azarenka Jelena Ostapenko