Ostapenko powers through to the third round

Ostapenko powers through to thrid round

Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome

[6] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) vs. [27] Shuai Zhang (CHN)

These two hard-hitting players met for the first time and the winner would be the player who was more consistent off the ground. Ostapenko is vulnerable on serve; however, she compensates by playing well off the ground and attacking every ball the opponent sends her way. Clay allows her the time she needs to set up her shots; however, if she is rushed, she can be forced into making more errors.

There was not much Zhang could do to rush her in the first set as Ostapenko was in complete control. Zhang managed to get one of the breaks back in the first set but was immediately broken again. The frustration mounted for Zhang; however, she did not give up. She shrugged off the loss of the first set and came back more determined in the second set.

However, just as she did in the first set, Ostapenko broke early to take the lead in the second set. Zhang broke in the eighth game to get back on serve; yet, Ostapenko did not get discouraged, perhaps the realization that she could hurt her opponent off the return kept her calm. At 5-4 the tension was high on both sides on the net. Could Zhang break again to force a deciding set?

Ostapenko was in no mood to go the distance and held her serve without much stress. Zhang needed to hold serve to force a tiebreak; however, the relentless attack from her opponent rattled her and she double faulted at 0-40 down to lose her serve. Despite a shaky first serve, Ostapenko dealt well with the pressure of serving for the match and closed out the match with an ace to win 6-2, 7-5.

SOURCE OF IMAGE:  Zimbio.com (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Europe: Jelena Ostapenko)

SPECIAL MENTION: the American team of Madison Keys and Venus Williams defeated the number six seeded doubles team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 2-6, 6-1, 10-8.

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