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via Reuters

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  Debate

Debate

Did Jelena Ostapenko make the right call quitting dance for tennis? What do you think?

Don’t just watch Jelena Ostapenko dominate on the court, she’s got fancy footwork off it too! The Latvian tennis star, about to shine in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, has some secret training under her belt. It all started at the young age of five when Ostapenko discovered her love for ballroom dancing, which clearly honed her impressive footwork on the grass court!

We might know the story of Jelena Ostapenko’s introduction to tennis by her mother at age five. However, very few know that it was the same age when Ostapenko, who idolized Serena Williams, also learned how to dance. Not only that, she even focused on participating in the National Ballroom Dance Championships of Latvia, keeping both her ambitions of being a tennis player and a dancer alive.

Although Ostapenko had been inclined towards building her career as a professional tennis player since the age of 12, the 8 singles WTA title winner knew that if she tried, she could blend her dancing skills with her tennis ones. Although she took a break of seven years after that, the time during which she turned pro in tennis (2012), Ostapenko couldn’t leave dancing behind at any cost. As a result, she eventually resumed it again in 2014.

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Since then, Jelena Ostapenko has proven to the world that one can achieve success in both fields simultaneously. Building on that idea even more, Ostapenko tried to refine her coordination, balance, and footwork on the dance floor. When she came to the tennis courts, the 27-year-old player maintained the same footwork while playing tennis. Naturally, she aced both! In tennis, she went on to achieve a high ranking of No. 5 and made history by winning the French Open in 2017 (first Latvian player to win).

Poll of the day

What do you think forced Jelena Ostapenko to quit ballroom dancing?

Focus on tennis

Injuries

Lack of time

Lost interest

 

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On the other hand, in the same year, Ostapenko added another title to her name: “The Golden Mirror Ball” which is awarded to the winner of “Dancing with the Stars.” After all, she knows how to hit the correct rhythm both with her tennis racquet and her dancing shoes.

“At home in Riga, when I am there I try and go ballroom dancing four times a week. It really helps with the footwork on the court. My favorite dance? The Samba, of course. I have the dress, the shoes — everything has to be matching. I go to a club and dance with the teacher there, he’s a professional dancer,” she said in an interview in 2017.

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Due to her professional commitments in tennis, one might not find Ostapenko on the dance floors too often now. But when it comes to the grass courts of Wimbledon, she unapologetically hits the ball with her signature shots!

Jelena reflects on her risky style of playing at Wimbledon 

Known for her explosive shots, Jelena Ostapenko is not ready to compromise on her aggressive playing style! Be it Yulia Putintseva or her next round opponent, Barbora Krejcikova, on the opposite side of the net, Ostapenko knows how to overcome the challenge with power. But it also adds a dash of risk to her playing style and the Latvian tennis star knows it too.

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However, she refuses to back down! “I mean, I have the ability to hit the ball hard, so why shouldn’t I use it?” Ostapenko said this in her post-match conference in London. However, currently her focus is on Wimbledon, where she could not go past the second round in 2023, but has shown her incredible prowess this season.

Jelena Ostapenko’s shots might be fierce on the ground, but when she comes back on the dance floor, she will glide with utmost love, keeping her moves steady and impressive!