Ostapenko soars into last four
Originally published on 28/03/18 00:00
The Latvian should have won more convincing than she eventually did, however she did enough to see off her wounded opponent and register an eighth Top 10 win.
It was a match-up of contrasting styles, and on this occasion, fortune favoured the brave.
The blustery conditions impacted the quality on display, but Ostapenko’s fearless attitude helped her overcome the challenge posed by her pragmatic rival.
Svitolina spent most of the afternoon in retreat mode, but she looked out-of-sorts from the outset. She complained of a stomach issue in the first set and received medical attention, however limited treatment did little to alleviate her discomfort.
Breaks of serve were frequent in the first set. Ostapenko settled better and her uncompromising groundstrokes helped her advance into a 5-3 lead. The French Open champion was crunching winners at will, but mistakes soon crept into her game.
The Latvian’s considerable drop in level enabled Svitolina to recover the deficit and eventually force a tiebreak. The momentum was with the Ukrainian, but Ostapenko entered another hot streak to pocket the opener.
Svitolina was more assertive in the second set as she attempted to turn the tide in her favour – and it worked to an extent. Three times she moved a break ahead, but on each occasion she was swiftly pegged back.
A tiebreak was again required, and Ostapenko, with words of encouragement from her coach, David Taylor, ringing in her ears, blasted her way into the last four.
The Latvian took the scenic route, but she eventually reached her destination.
Danielle Collins, ranked No.93 in the world, caused a major upset as she downed her childhood idol, Venus Williams, 6-2 6-3 to become an unlikely semi-finalist.
"I obviously have an incredible amount of respect for Venus, but you kind of have to take the name out of it and just focus on the tennis part and play play one point at a time and use your tactics that you come up with your coaches," said Collins.
"That's exactly what I did."
The American will challenge Ostapenko for a place in the final this evening.