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Belarusian tennis star Victoria Azarenka performed Manchester United star Marcus Rashford’s celebration after which Latvian star Jelena Ostapenko offered a racket tap. The incident occurred at the Qatar Open where Azarenka defeated Ostapenkpo 6-0, 6-3 in the Round of 16 on Thursday, February 15. The two players fought for a quarterfinal spot in the WTA 1000 event in Doha, where the Belarusian got better of her rival following an hour and 38 minute-long battle.

Azarenka recorded just 20 unforced errors as compared to her counterpart’s 49 and extended her record against Ostapenko to 5-0. Following her win, the 34-year-old performed the football star’s trademark victory celebration ‘mentality’. Rashford’s celebration gained limelight since the start of 2023 and is said to be an indicator of his battle with personal issues as his career went downhill during the 2021-22 season.

Ostapenko offers racket-tap instead of customary handshake, Belarusian refuses

26-year-old Jelena Ostapenko offered a racket tap to her opponent after the latter performed ‘mentality’ seemingly indicating her mental strength as she extended her win tally to 5-0. Following the match, the Belarusian shifted her racket to her left hand, leaving the right hand free for the customary post-match handshake. However, Ostapenko offered her racket instead, which the two-time Major champion refused to engage in. 

Azarenka will take on world number 1 star Iga Swiatek in her quarterfinal clash to reserve her semifinal berth at the tournament. Swiatek is coming on the back of a win over Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinal clash. The Pole currently holds a 2-1 lead over Azarenka in their head-to-head clashes. 

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