Less than ten days ago the Latvian tennis player Jelena Ostapenko became a last-minute withdrawal at Auckland Open 2020, due to the demise of her father. From New Zealand, she flew to Latvia for the funeral, within flew days she boarded another plane and landed in Melbourne.
Amidst the melancholic state of mind, the 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko decided to continue with her job without any hiatus. In consequence, she flew to Australia for the first Grand Slam event of the year.
Being on the tennis court and around different people would definitely keep her mind preoccupied and liberate her misery. Tennis will keep Ostapenko away from lamenting and focus on what her father always wanted her to achieve.
“I decided to play (the Australian Open) because I will be busy with something,” she said. “If I stay home I think it’s gonna push me even more, and will be even harder for me. I was just trying to be in the present moment, to not think about anything else.”
“Just, I’m on the court, I’m playing a match, and that’s it. In general, I think I played very well and I was just at the present moment. I was just only on the court and trying to be there as much as possible,” World Number 45 Ostapenko added.
“This is a very bad thing that can happen” – Jelena Ostapenko
A months ago the WTA professionals,18-year-old Amanda Anisimova and 21-year-old Aryna Sabalenka lost their fathers. Jelena Ostapenko was aware of their personal tragedies. It is one of the most devastating moments when a dear departs all of a sudden.
“We actually spoke with Aryna Sabalenka about this, she shared some moments with me as well. It just happened to her a little bit earlier,” Ostapenko said. “I mean, this is a very bad thing that can happen, especially when you don’t expect it. When you expect it and you know that the person is not healthy or something, it’s another thing – you know it.”
Jelena Ostapenko’s father drove her to the airport for her flight to Auckland. On their way, he told that ‘he had wanted to see her win big again as she did it in Paris three years ago.’