Jelena Ostapenko beats fourth Grand Slam champion in a row to reach Dubai final

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Jelena Ostapenko bageled Simona Halep in the second-set tiebreak and in the decider to record her fourth straight victory over a major champion and advance to the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Jelena Ostapenko

The world No.21 Ostapenko recovered from a one set deficit for the third straight match and overcame two-time Grand Slam winner Halep 2-6 7-6(0) 6-0 in Friday’s semifinals. Impressively, all the Latvian’s opponents en route to the Dubai title match were major champions, as she eliminated Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova earlier this week.

Playing her second straight semifinal, having also made this stage last week at St. Petersburg, Ostapenko never earned a break point in the first set as Halep wrapped it up in 27 minutes.

In the second set, Halep neutralized an initial 3-0 deficit as Ostapenko’s errors returned, evening the score at 4-4. Despite wasting a pair of set points with netted groundstrokes, Ostapenko dominated the tiebreak and the rest of the match.

By making the final, Ostapenko will rise to No.15 WTA ranking, while the title would bring her to No.13.

In the championship match, Ostapenko’s opponent will be Russian Veronika Kudermetova, who received a walkover when 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova withdrew due to a right adductor injury.

Ostapenko and Kudermetova will also face each other in the doubles final! Ostapenko is partnered with Lyudmyla Kichenok, while Kudermetova is teamed up with Elise Mertens. The last woman to reach both finals in Dubai was Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2004.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Jelena had a touch of laryngitis in the post match interview. Her tennis has been on fire lately, as she plays hit or miss tennis…she went for winners practically on every shot against Halep. She was missing a lot in the first set, but then couldn’t miss in the tiebreak and third set. Hope she is not getting sick.

  2. To my thinking, Ostapenko is a female hard hitter with the determination to play aggressively from the initiation up to the completion. Such kind of playing style would be very effective on a given day; however, if something might not happen desirably to the hard hitter, i.e. ball flying long or wide & netted at some of the critical moments, she/he has to take “change game” into consideration so as to turn the tables. Without the flexibility of changing offense and defense alternatively in accordance with the urgent necessity, the undesirable outcome will generally show up. Ostapenko’s performances at Dubai at this moment have indicated her consistency of ball control is ideal. Hopefully, she’ll keep it in shape just like how she won the FO several years ago.

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