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“Not a Huge Surprise”: Tennis Legend Lauds Jelena Ostapenko After Stunning Victory at French Open 2020

“Not a Huge Surprise”: Tennis Legend Lauds Jelena Ostapenko After Stunning Victory at French Open 2020

Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova‘s defeat to Jelena Ostapenko in the second round of the French Open 2020 will go down as an upset in the record books. However, it is not that much of a surprise as among the two players, Ostapenko is the one with a Grand Slam title to her name.

Former world number Lindsay Davenport had the same assessment of Ostapenko’s win on Thursday. “Ostapenko beating Pliskova, not actually a huge surprise,” Davenport said soon after the match.

It is still not easy to concede just six games against the world number three player. That too in conditions not quite conducive for free-flowing tennis, which Ostapenko displayed. Davenport spoke highly of Ostapenko’s gameplay against Pliskova.

Jelena Ostapenko
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – October 1, 2020 Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in action during her second round match Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Why Jelena Ostapenko played so well against Pliskova

It was one of the best matches Ostapenko has actually played in a couple of years. She was dictating play. She was moving around the court really well,” Davenport said further.

A three-time Grand Slam singles winner, Davenport also highlighted improvements in Ostapenko’s game and fitness since the WTA Tour’s restart after the lockdown.

“One thing to notice about Ostapenko is she looks in better shape after this shutdown. She looks to be a little bit more focused on the court,” Davenport said, adding that sometimes temper gets the better of the Latvian player.

Can Ostapenko make a second title run at French Open?

The 1998 French Open semi-finalist, Davenport then explained the difference between the two players on Thursday. The American former player believes that the other players in the draw are also aware of Ostapenko’s quality.

She looked so good today against Pliskova. She looked like she knew what she wanted to do, how she wanted to play the points,” Davenport expressed. “So an upset in the rankings, but not a huge surprise to the other players in the draw,” she continued.

Pliskova had an injury at a very unfortunate time before the French Open. She was injured in the Italian Open final against Simona Halep and carried that injury to some extent, to the French Open.

Karolina Pliskova at French Open 2020
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – October 1, 2020 Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova in action during her second round match Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

However, Ostapenko was just the better player on the day. The 2017 French Open champion scored 27 winners to 19 unforced errors on the day. Meanwhile, Pliskova could manage just nine winners on the day.

The 23-year old now faces Spain’s Paula Badosa, who caused a big upset win over Sloane Stephens. She could face Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals.

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