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Williams ends Ostapenko’s Wimbledon adventure

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Originally published on 11/07/17 00:00

French Open champion Ostapenko took too long to get her game going on Centre Court against Williams, who fended off a spirited late fightback to reach her 10th Wimbledon semi-final with a 6-3 7-5 win.

“She's a great player,” Ostapenko said. “Of course, I wanted to show my best today. But I think she played really well. Because I was watching her first matches, couple of matches this tournament, and I think every match she was playing better and better. Especially she was serving very well today.”

The defeat brings an end to a whirlwind six weeks for the Latvian 20-year-old, who won her first tour-level title at Roland Garros – the first player to do so since fellow French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten, on the day Ostapenko was born back in 1997.

Success has brought its challenges, Ostapenko admits. “I get more attention from everyone,” she said, “Other players, they know me better. They prepare for every match against me. For me it's a bit tougher because I have more pressure now.”

But the youngster has taken it in stride, enjoying her newfound status and the chance to play on Centre Court for the first time.

“It was really nice to play on Centre Court,” Ostapenko said. “A lot of people were watching. I enjoyed it. Hopefully I can play again there.

“She was playing good today,” she said of Williams. “She was serving well. I didn't start the match very well, I was missing a little bit. But, yeah, she was serving really well. It was very tough to break. Because of that I had more pressure because I had to keep my serve.”

“She's a great player. It was also a good match today for me. I wish I could play better – I was not playing bad, but I was just not playing the way I wanted to play today. I wasn't serving so well. But I hope we'll play more matches and I can perform better.”

Not one to dwell on losses, Ostapenko said she was looking forward to the US hard court season as she moves to a new career-high ranking of No.12 on Monday, with the chance to crack the top 10 with some deep runs Stateside.

“Last year I didn't get any points there, so I don't have to defend anything,” she said. “I just will try to play and not think about anything. I'll just play as good as I can.”

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