Sloane Stephens (USA) vs.  Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
It has been an unimpressive 2019 season for former French Open champion, Ostapenko. What has always been her Achilles heel has come back to negatively impact her game. The Latvian has always struggled with her serve and despite the power she has with her ground strokes, she has not been able to fix her serving problem. The consequence of this inability has been a slew of losses that has resulted in a drop in her ranking. While she still has game, her confidence is shaken and today she had to bring her best effort to beat an opponent she had lost to previously.
Stephens’ Struggles Continues
Across from the Latvian was a player, who has also been struggling to play consistently high-quality tennis. Stephens, well known for having game is also well known for not giving her best effort on many occasions; and today we saw that lack of engagement once again. As a fan, you never know what is going on inside a player’s head; yet, it is often frustrating when you know the player can play much better than their results indicate. While Stephens can elevate her game whenever she wants, one wonders how often she will be able to do so when the field continues to get harder to defeat.
Ostapenko Gets Quality Win
It was a disappointing match for American fans; however, Ostapenko’s fans must certainly be happy to see her get her first top ten win in a long time. Although the Latvian started off slowly, she dug deep in the second set to make things very uncomfortable for her opponent. Unfortunately for Stephens, her effort to put up some resistance in the third set came a tad too late and it was not enough to prevent Ostapenko from getting the three-set victory. With the 1-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory, Ostapenko faces Ekaterina Alexandrova in the next round for a chance to get to the Eastbourne quarterfinals.
SOURCE OF IMAGES: Zimbio.com (main image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images AsiaPac – Jelena Ostapenko)