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Ostapenko wins in straight sets over Diyas at Stuttgart

Rudy Martinez
257   //    26 Apr 2018, 16:55 IST

Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Stuttgart - Day 2
Jelena Ostapenko speaking during her press conference

Jelena Ostapenko found her grip just in time to dominate at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Thursday afternoon. With a tough start against Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, the world number five ran away in the second set to win 6-3, 6-0 on Centre Court at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart.

The two met earlier back in 2016 where the Latvian quickly dispatched the Kazak, allowing four games in her straight sets win at Doha. She received a pass from the first round while Diyas managed to put together a strong win over Carina Witthoeft Wednesday.

Ostapenko opened the match with a couple errors that gave Diyas the break in the first. The 21-year-old recovered though, pulling off a break to love in the second. The two got back on track, holding serve against one another through four games as the competition remained firm. Ostapenko continued to take the lead but Diyas found her groove to stick with the world number five.

A mistake on Diyas' second serve in the eighth game gave Ostapenko enough room to break. She wasted no time bringing an end to the set and she served for it in Game nine, completing proceedings in 34 minutes. Ostapenko showed a lot of firepower, landing 13 winners despite the low serve percentage. She won 72 percent of points on the first serve and three of four breaks against Diyas who struggled on the second serve.

Ostapenko raced off to a 3-0 lead in the second set, winning a marathon game, which forced Roberto Antonini out to speak with the Kazak.

His words implied that she could still pull things together, but the 21-year-old had other plans. She put together another strong performance to make it 4-0, inching closer to a match win. Diyas battled hard on her serve in the fifth but a push to deuce by the fourth seed only resulted in a fifth straight game. All that remained was the final piece to pull the bagel out and Ostapenko delivered that with a shutout of Diyas, ending the match in 63 minutes. She ended the day with 22 winners and reduced the number of unforced errors to move into the round of eight.

“First matches are always tough but today I was playing well, for the first round especially,” Ostapenko said during her on-court interview. “I’m feeling great to be back on clay.” She’ll await the winner of the match between fifth seed Karolina Pliskova and qualifier Veronika Kudermetova on Friday. 

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Rudy Martinez
A writer with eight years experience in sportswriting. He specializes in the National Hockey League, WTA Tennis and both summer and winter Olympic sports.
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