Date: 22 September 2021
Tournament: Ostrava Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Approx. 1.30 pm local time, 11.30 am GMT, 7.30 am EST, 5 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Jelena Ostapenko vs Anna Blinkova preview
Former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko will begin her Ostrava Open campaign with a first-round match against Anna Blinkova on Wednesday.
Ostapenko had a rough start to her 2021 season. Following a spate of early exits, the Latvian made her first quarterfinal of the year at the Italian Open. The following month she won her fourth career title at the Eastbourne Open. However, a title on grass did not translate to much success at Wimbledon, where she lost in the third round.
The Latvian's string of poor performances continued in North America. After early losses in Canada and Cincinnati, her North American hardcourt swing came to a disappointing end as she was forced to withdraw from the US Open due to medical reasons.
Ostapenko returned to the tour at the Luxembourg Open. As the defending champion, she reached the final before losing to Clara Tauson in a close three-set match. She will be looking to capitalize on her good form and make a deep run in Ostrava.
Anna Blinkova, meanwhile, is in the midst of a terrible season. She did make the semifinals of a WTA Challenger event in Croatia, but aside from that, the Russian has done little of note.
Currently ranked No. 126 in the world, Blinkova lost in the final qualifying round in Ostrava but entered the main draw as a lucky loser.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Anna Blinkova head-to-head
This will be the second meeting between Jelena Ostapenko and Anna Blinkova, with the former leading their head-to-head 1-0. The Latvian won their only encounter in three sets at the Luxembourg Open two years ago.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Anna Blinkova prediction
Jelena Ostapenko is the overwhelming favorite to win this match and rightly so, given the huge disparity in their rankings and experience.
Anna Blinkova has an aggressive game, quite similar to the Latvian's. The Russian has troubled a few big-name opponents in the past, but given her form this season, she is unlikely to pose much of a threat to the red-hot Ostapenko. The Latvian should be able to power past Blinkova in a one-sided contest.
Prediction: Jelena Ostapenko to win in straight sets.