Jelena Ostapenko vs Elena Vesnina, Dubai R2 Preview

🇦🇪 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, R2 Preview
🇱🇻 (4) Jelena Ostapenko vs 🇷🇺 Elena Vesnina

Jelena Ostapenko will kickstart her 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis championships campaign on Wednesday with a second round clash against Russia’s Elena Vesnina. As the 4th seed in Dubai Ostapenko received a bye into the second round whilst Vesnina earned her spot in the second round with a straight set win over Shuai Peng. Ostapenko has failed to fire in 2018, the world number 7 will be keen to avoid another early round exit in 2018 and will be wary of Vesnina who won the only previous match between the pair.

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Ostapenko has won back-to-back matches in 2018 on just 1 occasion and has an overall 3/5 win/loss record at tour level events this year. Clearly it has not been the start to the season Ostapenko was hoping for but perhaps it was to be expected as Ostapenko did have a long 2017 season and an interrupted off-season. Ostapenko was thrashed in her opening round match in Doha last week, beaten by Mihaela Buzarnescu 1-6 3-6, a very bad loss for the Latvian star. There was some positives for Ostapenko last week in Doha as she did win the doubles title alongside Gabriela Dabrowski.

Elena Vesnina has also generally made a poor start to the season. Vesnina arrived in Dubai with just 2 wins to her name and a mountain of points to defend in a few weeks’ time in Indian Wells where she is the defending champion. Vesnina made a decent start to her Dubai campaign on Monday as she beat Shuai Peng 6-4 7-5. It certainly wasn’t the highest quality match but Vesnina always seemed to have the slight edge and was good enough to get the job done in a couple of tight sets.

Vesnina defeated Ostapenko 7-5 6-0 on clay in Madrid in 2016 in what is their only previous clash. Clearly a lot has changed since then, but given Ostapenko’s recent troubles, Vesnina will fancy her chances to maintain a perfect record against the Latvian.

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Jelena Ostapenko vs Anett Kontaveit, Australian Open R3 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R3 Preview
🇱🇻 (7) Jelena Ostapenko vs 🇪🇪 (32) Anett Kontaveit

A blockbuster third round match-up at Melbourne Park on Friday sees the 7th seeded Jelena Ostapenko take on the 32nd seeded Anett Kontaveit. Ostapenko and Kontaveit will both be aiming to reach the second week at the Australian Open for the first time. These two know each other well, the pair grew up on the junior circuit together and actually played doubles together at the ITF level years back. This will be the first tour level meeting between the pair of big hitters. Who will prevail?

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Jelena Ostapenko cruised through her opening round match in Melbourne, defeating Francesca Schiavone 6-1 6-4 in what was the first match played on Rod Laver Arena at this year’s event. The reigning Roland Garros champion was forced to work much harder for her second round win, fighting her way past Ying-Ying Duan with a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win. Ostapenko blasted 35 winners past Duan which included 10 aces. Ostapenko’s composure under pressure was the difference, especially at the end of the third set where she served very well.

Anett Kontaveit arrived in Melbourne in poor form but has done very well to reach the third round stage at Melbourne Park for the first time. Kontaveit had not previously won a main draw match at Melbourne Park. The Estonian started the event with a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 win over an in-form Aleksandra Krunic before securing her spot in the third round with a 6-3 4-6 6-3 win over Barthel. Kontaveit was quite streaky in both matches but she played enough good tennis to get through on each occasion.

This will be the first tour level meeting between the pair.

Jelena Ostapenko vs Ying-Ying Duan, Australian Open R2 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R2 Preview
🇱🇻 (7) Jelena Ostapenko vs 🇨🇳 Ying-Ying Duan

Jelena Ostapenko continues her 2018 Australian Open campaign on Wednesday where she will take on China’s Ying-Ying Duan in the second round. The 7th seeded Latvian made a good start in Melbourne Park by beating Francesca Schiavone in straight sets in what was the 20-year-old’s first appearance on Rod Laver Arena. Ostapenko is likely to face a tougher challenge in the second round against Duan, an opponent that has weapons of her own that can hurt Ostapenko.

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Jelena Ostapenko opened the 2018 Australian Open proceedings on Rod Laver Arena. Ostapenko played a fairly clean match to easily get past fellow Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone 6-1 6-4. The bottom half of the draw has already opened up after just 1 round. Ostapenko is clearly one player that is capable of making the most of an open draw.

Ying-Ying Duan also rocketed through her opening round match in Melbourne. Duan thrashed Columbia’s Mariana Duque-Mariño 6-0 6-1. Duan has a very powerful game, the quick hard courts in Melbourne are the perfect conditions for the 28-year-old.

This will be the first career meeting between Ostapenko and Duan.

Jelena Ostapenko vs Francesca Schiavone, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open 🇦🇺 R1 Preview
(7) 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko vs 🇮🇹 Francesca Schiavone

Jelena Ostapenko and Francesca Schiavone will open proceedings on Rod Laver Arena on day 1 of the 2018 Australian Open. All eyes are on Ostapenko in 2018. The young Latvian shocked the tennis world when she claimed her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last year. Ostapenko is one of the most entertaining characters on tour. The Latvian solidified her spot in the top 10 late last year but one suspects the real challenge will come in 2018 for Ostapenko with a new sense of expectation on the 20-year-old.

The early signs for Ostapenko in 2018 have not been great. Ostapenko suffered back-to-back opening round losses in Shenzhen and Sydney. In Shenzhen Ostapenko was wayward, beaten in straight sets by Kristyna Pliskova 1-6 4-6. A week later, Ostapenko was more competitive in Sydney where she was beaten by Ekaterina Makarova 6-7 1-6. Ostapenko may be a Grand Slam champion but she has little experience in the main draw in Melbourne. Ostapenko won her first matches in the main draw in Melbourne last year where she reached the third round. Ostapenko cam agonisingly close upsetting Karolina Pliskova on that occasion. It will be interesting to see if Ostapenko can get her game together at Melbourne Park.

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At the age of 37, 2018 is expected to be Francesca Schiavone’s final appearance at the Australian Open. Schiavone is a former quarter-finalist in Melbourne but has not made it past the second round since 2012. Schiavone did not play any tournaments in the lead up to the first Grand Slam of the year. It is hard to know where Schiavone’s game is at right now, but one thing is for sure, she will give her all on court.

This will be the first career meeting between Ostapenko and Schiavone, two former Roland Garros champions with two very different game styles. Who will be the first winner on Rod Laver Arena at the 2018 Australian Open?

Jelena Ostapenko vs Ekaterina Makarova, Sydney R1 Preview

Sydney International, R1 Preview
(3) 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko vs 🇷🇺 Ekaterina Makarova

Main draw action begins at the Sydney International on Sunday, the pick of the matches sees the 3rd seeded Jelena Ostapenko take on Ekaterina Makarova. Ostapenko and Makarova are both looking for their first win of 2018, both will be desperate to ensure they can get a couple of matches under their belt before heading to Melbourne next week.

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Jelena Ostapenko made a wayward start to her 2018 campaign last week in Shenzhen. Ostapenko was defeated by Kristyna Pliskova in straight sets 1-6 4-6. Ostapenko was not even close to her best, hitting a ton of unforced errors in what as a disappointing start to the year, albeit against a difficult opponent.

Ekaterina Makarova will begin her 2018 season on Sunday at the Sydney International. Makarova had a relatively disappointing season in 2017, ending the year just outside the top 33. Makarova is good enough to push back into the top 20. It will be interesting to see how she starts her 2018 season on Sunday

This will be the first career meeting between Ostapenko and Makarova.

Serena Williams vs Jelena Ostapenko, Abu Dhabi MWTC Preview

Mubadala World Tennis Championship, Exhibition

🇺🇸 Serena Williams vs 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko

Serena Williams will make her much anticipated return to competitive play at a special exhibition match in Abu Dhabi. The 23-time Grand Slam Champion will come up against reigning Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko. This promises to be an exciting encounter, the pair have never played each other in a competitive match, just one of the exciting factors heading into the match.

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Serena Williams will be playing her first match in almost a year after giving birth to her first child in September. Williams and Ostapenko will bring the spotlight to the WTA at the 10th Edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, the first time women have competed at the annual season opening championship.

Jelena Ostapenko arrives in Abu Dhabi soon after competing at an exhibition event in Hua Hin, Thailand. Ostapenko played a couple of matches in Hua Hin, losing in straight sets on both occasions. The Latvian was beaten by Karolina Pliskova and Johanna Konta quite comfortably. Notably, Ostapenko changed racquet’s during the off-season, the 20-year-old was seemingly struggling to find her range in her matches in Hua Hin and gestured that she was having trouble with her new racquet on a few occasions.

Serena Williams has not played a competitive match since she claimed her 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 2017. It was later revealed that Williams was in the early stages of pregnancy during her title run in Melbourne. It has remained doubtful that Serena would make the trip to Australia to defend her title, however it is now clear that Serena will remarkably defend her title in Melbourne given her appearance in Abu Dhabi. Every match Serena can play before Melbourne is important given her lengthy time away from the court, it will be interesting to see what kind of level Serena can bring to the court at the MWTC.

It is worth noting that the addition of this match in Abu Dhabi is related to the high profile withdrawals from the annual men’s event. Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka have all pulled out of the event. Serena was undoubtedly lured to Abu Dhabi with a huge pay cheque.

Karolina Pliskova vs Jelena Ostapenko, Singapore White Group Preview

WTA Finals, 🏆🇸🇬🦁🐉🏨 Singapore Match Preview + Prediction
RR: ⚪ White Group: (3) 🇨🇿 Karolina Pliskova vs (7) 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko

Karolina Pliskova became the first to qualify for the semi-final stage in Singapore when she cruised past Garbine Muguruza 6-2 6-2 on Tuesday evening to go 2-0 in the white group. Conversely, Jelena Ostapenko became the first player to be eliminated from the tournament as she succumbed to Venus Williams in a 3 hour plus epic, relegating the Latvian to a 0-2 record in the white group.

This all means that this white group clash between Pliskova and Ostapenko will be a dead rubber in a sense, however there is still a lot to play for both ladies. With a heap of ranking points still on the line, every win is important for Pliskova in the race for number 1 and she will want to keep her momentum going into the semi-finals with another win here. Whilst Jelena Ostapenko will want to end the best season of her career on a positive note and avoid leaving Singapore without a single victory.

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Venus Williams vs Jelena Ostapenko, Singapore White Group Preview

WTA Finals, 🏆🇸🇬🦁🐉🏨 Singapore Match Preview + Prediction
RR: ⚪ White Group: (5) 🇺🇸 Venus Williams vs (7) 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko

Venus Williams and Jelena Ostapenko will go head-to-head in Tuesday’s first match from the white group. The pressure is one both Williams and Ostapenko heading into this crucial clash after disappointing straight set losses in their opening group stage matches in Singapore on Sunday evening The last two years in Singapore have shown that losing the first group stage match does not mean it’s over, all 3 previous champions in Singapore lost their first match of the tournament. This will be an intriguing contest between the oldest ever competitor in Singapore and the youngest. Venus won the only previous clash between tee pair in straight sets at Wimbledon earlier this year, can she repeat that effort here?

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Garbine Muguruza vs Jelena Ostapenko, Singapore White Group Preview

WTA Finals, 🏆🇸🇬🦁🐉🏨 Singapore Match Preview + Prediction
RR: ⚪ White Group: (2) 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza vs (7) 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko

The only two Grand Slam winners from 2017 competing in Singapore will go head-to-head in what promises to be an intriguing encounter in the white group on Sunday evening. Muguruza is competing in Singapore for the third year in a row and will be hoping to go one step better than her previous best showing at the event which was a semi-final appearance in 2015. Ostapenko will be competing at the WTA Finals for the first time in her career after having a big breakthrough year in 2017. Muguruza holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Ostapenko but it was the Latvian who emerged victorious in their most recent match, a 3 set win in Wuhan a couple of weeks ago. Which of these two confident young champions will hit the ground running in Singapore?

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Jelena Ostapenko vs Aleksandra Krunic, Cincinnati R1 Preview

Western & Southern Open, 🇺🇸🌉 Cincinnati R1 Preview + Prediction
(12) 🇱🇻 Jelena Ostapenko vs (Q) 🇷🇸 Aleksandra Krunic

Jelena Ostapenko made a disappointing start to her U.S Open series campaign last week in Toronto. The reigning Roland Garros champion suffered a shock three set loss to Varvara Lepchenko in the opening round of the Rogers Cup, the Latvian will be keen to have a much better week in Cincinnati. Ostapenko will begin her Western & Southern Open campaign on Tuesday with an opening round clash against Serbian qualifier Aleksandra Krunic.

Continue reading "Jelena Ostapenko vs Aleksandra Krunic, Cincinnati R1 Preview"