Ostapenko Wins First Non-Major Title

Ostapenko into third round for the first time

Korea Open, Seoul

Women’s Final: [10] Jelena Ostapenko [LAT] vs. [71] Beatriz Haddad Maia [BRA]

The Achilles heel of Ostapenko’s game is her serve. Her toss is inconsistent making her prone to serve double faults. For a player who has such a ferocious forehand and backhand, it’s inexplicable that her serve remains such a liability at this stage in her career.

She was up against a bigger server today, actually against a player who hits the ball just as hard off the ground as she does and it was almost expected that the first set would go to a tiebreak. They traded mini-breaks throughout; however late in the tiebreak a double-fault rattled Ostapenko and then she made two consecutive return errors to lose the first set to Haddad Maia.

Ostapenko started the second set off much better; she broke early and stayed very composed on her serve the entire set. She broke the Brazilian twice to win the set in a commanding fashion; however, Haddad Maia was not going to go away without a fight.

The third set was up for grabs, the player who could control their nerves and hold on to their serve would win the match. Ostapenko got an early break; however, she could not consolidate and they traded breaks. At 4-4, the Brazilian served to take the lead in the set for the first time; however, she fell victim to the double-fault syndrome. Haddad Maia never held serve in the entire third set.

Ostapenko was understandably nervous as this would be her first non-major title if she won; however, she found a way to calm the nerves late in the set and she won 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4. Winning the French Open was easier for her. She has definitely cemented herself as a contender for the WTA Finals at the end of the season.

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