The 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko upset world No. 4 and second seed Karolina Pliskova at the French Open 2020. It was an easy, straight-set victory for Ostapenko, with the match lasting only 69 minutes. In the second round tie, Pliskova had defeated 172nd ranked Mayar Sherif in two hours.
As for Ostapenko, she is ranked 43rd and thrashed Madison Brengle in her first-round match. Ostapenko has been on the hunt for consistency, and for the first time in three years, it is starting to look like she could emulate her 2017 French Open form.
Pliskova looked a little rusty when the match started. She lost the first four points and gave away a break in the first game itself. On the other hand, Ostapenko was looking good with her game. Pliskova had troubles with her serve, and she gave some double faults at important moments in her service games. At 3-3, Ostapenko had already hit 11 winners. Her return balls to Pliskova’s serve were untouchable at times.
Pliskova did break back at 3-3 but Ostapenko broke back the next game to restore her advantage 4-3. Ostapenko did well on her to nullify Pliskova’s power hitting. Pliskova was clearly struggling with her serve. She had an abysmal first serve percentage of 44%. Errors kept flowing from the forehand side of Pliskova’s racket. It was at the end of the opening set that Pliskova was able to get the forehand running, but by then Ostapenko was comfortable and took the first set 6-4.
Nothing seemed to be working in Pliskova’s favor. Her serve was becoming predictable and Ostapenko was finishing rallies quickly. Ostapenko broke in the first game again. The Latvian was able to turn defense to offense quickly as Pliskova had no answers. Due to Pliskova’s very low first serve percentage, Ostapenko dominated Pliskova’s second serve. Pliskova was totally out of sorts with multiple double faults and even a few foot faults. She had trouble with her ball toss as well. In the end, Pliskova was hanging by a thread and Ostapenko broke her again to lead 5-2. Later, the Latvian served out easily to win the set and match 6-4,6-2.
For Pliskova, this was a bad defeat since she ended with just nine winners and 25 unforced errors. It has been tough for her as she has been struggling with her thigh. The Czech player even had to retire midway in the Italian Open final against Simona Halep.
This match has proved to be a major win for Ostapenko. She has been sending warning signs to the tour regarding her consistency. If she does achieve the consistency she seeks, Ostapenko could become a challenger for the Grand Slams again.