Jelena Ostapenko WTA Australian Open 2022

‘They’re afraid of her’ claims fellow Slam champ on Jelena Ostapenko’s WTA rivals

Marion Bartoli is confident that Jelena Ostapenko can add to her 2017 Roland Garros title in the near future after claiming the WTA 500 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. 

In an exceptionally strong field the Latvian ousted four Major winners consecutively in Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep to reach the final before downing Veronika Kuderrmetova for the title.

Following the victory, when asked in an interview if she expects Ostapenko to win more Slams in the future, 2013 Wimbledon champion Bartoli was certain in her response.

“Absolutely,” she said.

“When I started to work with her, she was ranked [around] 90th in the world.

“She had really lost a lot of confidence.

“She had high expectations on herself and also from the outside and it was tough for her to cope with everything.”

Bartoli was hired by Ostapenko in the second half of 2019, soon after she fell from 37th to 83rd in the WTA rankings following Wimbledon 2019 as her points from reaching the 2018 semi-finals dropped.

Now, the 24-year-old is 10-3 on the season and has a fifth career singles title to her name.

She has so far only lost to top 10 opponents in Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa, Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova and world number seven Anett Kontaveit.

“I think all the players really are afraid to play against her,” Bartoli added on the subject of Ostapenko’s WTA rivals.

“But it was about time to really get her back on track.

“And now her ranking is going to rise and she will be close to the top 15, I believe.

“So it’s all going in the right direction.

“If she can do better in Grand Slams, then she’s going to be in the top 10 very fast.”

In fact, contrary to Bartoli’s belief, Ostapenko is now already back inside the top 15 at 13th in the world as she continues her 2022 campaign at the  Qatar Open in Doha.

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