Jelena Ostapenko Target's Return To Top Following Dubai Triumph - UBITENNIS
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Jelena Ostapenko Target’s Return To Top Following Dubai Triumph

The 24-year-old has big ambitions for the future after winning her fifth Tour title.

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Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) - Credit: AELTC/Florian Eisele

After her fairytale run at the Dubai Tennis Championships, Jelena Ostapenko has set some big goals which she hopes to achieve in the coming months.

The Latvian was in clinical form throughout her participation in Dubai which is categorized as a WTA 500 event. Impressively Ostapenko scored wins over Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep en route to the final. All of whom are former Grand Slam champions. Then in the final she dropped just four games against Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova. She also reached the final of the doubles tournament with Lyudmyla Kichenok where standing on the other side of the court was Kudermetova once again with her partner Elise Mertens.

It’s not very often you have to play singles and doubles [finals] against the same person,” said Ostapenko. “I was really happy after my singles, I was in a very positive place.
“But I think Veronika, she wanted to win at least doubles because it’s not the best thing to lose in the [singles] final, to go to the [doubles] final and lose it. At least she has a doubles title. For me was very important to win in singles, which I did, so I’m happy.”

Ostapenko’s win continues what has been a solid start to the season for her. She also reached the semi-finals of the St. Petersburg Open, as well as the third round of the Australian Open. Last year she didn’t win any titles on the Tour.

Now with a spring in her step, the 24-year-old is eyeing a return back inside the top 10 for the first time since September 2018. On top of that, Ostapenko hopes to win a second Grand Slam title in the near future. Since claiming the 2017 French Open crown, she has only reached the second week of a major twice with the most recent of those being almost four years ago at Wimbledon.

“Of course, my goals are big: to win in another Grand Slam and to be back in top 10,” she said. “I didn’t expect that I would have such a great beginning of the year – not like I didn’t expect, but I never thought about it. I had a good pre-season, I was working hard. I’m playing well and getting some confidence, which is great.”

One of the people guiding Ostapenko on the Tour is former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli who first started working with the tennis player towards the end of 2019. Speaking to Tennis Majors following the conclusion of the Dubai tournament, Bartoli believes one of the key issues which has been troubling her player in recent years is the mental side of her game.

“She has a very aggressive game, but sometimes she’s lacking a bit of confidence in herself, and obviously having so much pressure of winning very early on a Grand Slam and you expect yourself to do so well every single time,” she said.
“Sometimes she just felt like every time she was on the court she had to play the same way as she did to win Roland-Garros.”

Ostapenko’s next challenge will be at the Doha Open where she is the 15th seed in the draw. In the first round she will play French qualifier Oceane Dodin. In her section of the draw, she could then face Amanda Anisimova in the second round followed by second seed Barbora Krejčíková.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Sebastian Ofner in Barcelona to extend his winning streak

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Sebastian Ofner 6-4 7-5 at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell to extend his winning streak to seven consecutive matches after claiming his third title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters last week. 

Tsitsipas earned an immediate break in the first game. Ofner broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. Tsitsipas earned his second break  in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and served out the first set 6-4 with a hold at 15. 

Tsitsipas broke in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner won three consecutive games with two breaks of serve to take a 5-3 lead. Tsitsipas came back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks of serve to seal the second set 7-5.

Tsitsipas has a record of 17 wins to 5 defeats in Barcelona. The Greek player reached three finals at this tournament in 2018, 2021 and 2023.  

“I feel pretty good, but it is still early in the tournament. The conditions here are very different to Monte-Carlo and I felt it today when I was playing. My job is to adapt and to ensure I can bring my A game again in Barcelona this week. Today was a great test to see where I stand. I am hoping to keep on improving and getting good wins like this under my belt”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitssipas set up a third round match against Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Musetti saved three break points in the first game of the opening set. The Italian player earned two break points with a backhand down the line. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game. Both players went on serve un the 12th game when Carballes Baena saved a set point. Carballes Baena went up a 5-1 lead with two mini-breaks in the tie-break. Musetti won three consecutive points to reduce to 4-5. Carballes Baena won the final two points to take the tie-break 7-4. 

Carballes Baena converted his fourth break point in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Musetti broke back in the fifth game. Carballes Baena saved a break point in the sixth game. The Spanish player sealed the win with a break on his second match. 

Last week’s Monte-Carlo finalist Casper Ruud beat Alexandre Muller 6-3 6-4 to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Ruud has drawn level with Jannik Sinner for the most wins in 2024 on the ATP Tour. 

Ruud set up a third round match against Jordan Thompson, who beat Jaume Munar 6-4 2-4 6-4. Roberto Bautista Agut beat Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-4 6-1 to claim his milestone 400th match win on the ATP Tour. Bautista Agut set up a third round match against Cameron Norrie. 

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Roberto Bautista Agut wins his milestone 400th match on the ATP Tour

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Roberto Bautista Agut came back from one set down to beat Australian Open doubles finalist Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-3 6-1 after 2 hours and 1 minute at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. 

Vavassori earned an early break in the first game. The Italian player earned three break points in the seventh game, but Bautista Agut saved them. The Spanish player broke straight back in the eighth game. Vavassori broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and saved two break points before closing out the first set 6-4 on his second set point. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Vavassori earned a break point in the fifth game, but he did not convert it. Bautista Agut broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face any break points to win the second set 6-3. 

Bautista Agut broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1. 

Bautista Agut reached the 400th milestone win on the ATP Tour.  The Spanish player has become the 13th active player with at least 400 ATP Tour wins. He achieved 20 wins against members of the top 10, ten wins against top 5 players and four against world number 1s. Bautista Agut is one of the nine players, who have beaten Novak Djokovic as World number 1 more than twice. 

“For me it’s just a number. The important thing is that I have done great work over these years, that I have a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of “, said Bautista Agut. 

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Martina Trevisan beats Naomi Osaka to reach the second round in Rouen

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Martina Trevisan upset former world number 1 Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-2 in the opening round of the Open Capfinances Rouen Metropole. 

Osaka has played her first clay-court match since Roland Garros 2022, where she lost to Amanda Anisimova. The Japanese player has not won a match on clay since beating Anastasia Potapova in the first round of the Madrid Mutua Open in 2022. She helped Japan beat Kazakhstan in the Billie Jean King Cup. 

Trevisan reached the quarter final in 2020 and the semifinal in 2022 at Roland Garros. The former world number 18 won her only title in Rabat in 2022. She reached the quarter finals of the Zaragoza ITF 100 tournament. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games. Osaka earned two break points at 3-2 and three more chances at 4-3, but she was not able to convert them. Trevisan broke serve in the ninth game following a series of forehand errors. 

Trevisan broke twice in the third and seventh games and served out the win on her first match point. 

Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva beat Elina Avanesyan 7-5 6-4 in 1 hour and 41 minutes to reach her second quarter final of 2024. 

Andreeva went up a break in the seventh game, but Avanesyan pulled back on serve to draw level to 4-4. Andreeva broke for the second time in the 11th game to win the second set 7-5. Andreeva broke in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Avanesyan converted her third break-back point in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Andreeva broke serve at love in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Avanesyan broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Andreeva broke for the third time in the ninth game and served out the win on her second match point after saving two break points. 

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