Victoria Azarenka slammed her first-round opponent at the Qatar Open, Yulia Putintseva, and said the Kazakh player ‘needs a psychiatrist.’
The former World No 1 won the ill-tempered tie 5-7, 6-2, 7-5.
Azarenka also accused Putintseva of cheating after the latter called a trainer on court just when Azarenka was about to serve to stay in the match.
Having slipped to 0-4 in the decider, the Belarusian had clawed back to level the set. But after Putintseva held her serve to make it 5-4 she called asked for medical attention.
A fuming Azarenka marched to the bench and complained to the chair umpire.
What's her problem….She needs a psychiatrist – Azarenka pic.twitter.com/OgYfuFp3Yr
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) February 20, 2022
“Before my serve, she can do that. What’s the problem?” she was heard saying.
“She has to wait for me to serve, she threw her racquet like seven times.
“She needs a mental coach, she needs a psychiatrist.”
As Putintseva had let the 4-0 lead slip she had broken a few racquets in frustration. After closing out the match at 7-5 in the third set, Azarenka roared in celebration.
Not surprisingly, the two women had a frosty handshake at the net.
“There was way too much stuff in this match,” Azarenka said in the press conference. “Unnecessary stuff as well.”
The two players have a history as well.
At the Grampians Trophy in 2019, Azarenka had saved a match point before beating Putintseva.
The Kazakh player had slammed a racquet on court and refused to shake hands with Azarenka after the match.