Wednesday’s WTA action at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz revealed a new surprising coaching partnership: During her 6-1 6-3 first-round victory over Germany’s world No.130 Tamara Korpatsch, 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko was helped by retired tennis star Marion Bartoli and the two revealed to the media how they started to work together.
The 22-year-old Ostapenko, down to the world No.72 ranking with a 19-26 singles record in 2019, commented on adding the 2013 Wimbledon champion Bartoli to her team on a trial basis:
We are really good friends, we decided to try and work together this week. Today I played really well.
The 35-year-old Bartoli, who’s stayed involved with tennis as a commentator and member of the media, said:
She sometimes asked me about a player when I was commentating. We have the same game style, it’s easy for me to understand the way she plays.
Bartoli wanted to come back to the pro circuit last season, but gave up on the idea due to physical problems. In December 2018, the Frenchwoman tried herself out in coaching for the first time, taking up-and-coming compatriot Lucie Wargnier under her wing.
Ostapenko’s opponent in the second round of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz will be France’s Alize Cornet, ranked No.57.