Ajla Tomljanovic, Jelena Ostapenko get into it at Wimbledon
Ajla Tomljanovic accused her opponent of faking an injury, which led to a post-match exchange for the ages. IPA

Things got a bit heated on Saturday during a third-round match between Ajla Tomljanovic and Jelena Ostapenko at Wimbledon.

The issues started in the third and final set, with Ostapenko trailing 4-0 on the back of losing seven straight points. Despite no sign of injury, Ostapenko asked for a medical timeout. When it was granted, Tomljanovic confronted the chair umpire and could be heard accusing Ostapenko of “lying” about her injury.

“Are you taking in any consideration that she looked fine for an hour and thirty and now there’s an acute injury?” Tomljanovic asks at one point.

Despite the lack of clarity over what the injury actually was, the timeout was granted. Ostapenko eventually returned and broke serve, but it was not enough, as Tomljanovic went on to win, taking the final set 6-2.

That set up a testy exchange during the post-match handshake, with Ostapenko accusing Tomljanovic of “terrible” behavior and having “zero respect.” Tomljanovic fired back by telling Ostapenko “you’re the one to talk.”

Tomljanovic doubled down speaking to the media after the match, again asserting that Ostapenko never had an injury but was instead engaging in gamesmanship. Tomljanovic added that she felt Ostapenko’s behavior, including their exchange after the match, was “disgraceful.”

It’s not completely unusual for one side to think another is faking injury to gain some sort of advantage, but it’s true in some sports more than others. When it comes to tennis, the mental side of the game is huge, and this sort of thing can throw a player off. That said, medical timeouts aren’t supposed to happen without a physiotherapist determining there’s something that warrants attention. Whatever the case, these two players clearly left with less respect for each other after Saturday’s match.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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