Rogers Cup 2019: Ostapenko endures tense battle with Pavlyuchenkova to move ahead
Jelena Ostapenko worked hard in the sun to get the result she wanted at the Rogers Cup Wednesday. She battled against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for three tough sets before eventually prevailing 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 on National Bank Grandstand Court at the Aviva Tennis Centre.
The match marked the fourth time the two were meeting, and the third this season. Back in February, the Russian veteran got her first win of the series with a straight sets win. The former French Open champion then showed her skills on clay and took down Pavlyuchenkova at the start of the Madrid Open.
The 22-year-old has struggled on the hard courts lately but proved her tenacity in a hard-fought match against Caroline Garcia in the Toronto first round. Through what was her first win since June 25, the aggressive hitter has already improved on her 2017 result and now looks to go further.
The Latvian started the match with a huge three-game winning streak. But after the changeover, the Russian held and then notched up a second straight game by breaking serve. With the lead down to one game for Ostapenko, she answered with a break back to go up 4-2.
Another consolidation of the break allowed Ostapenko to coast through the seventh before she attacked the Pavlyuchenkova serve again to shut her out of the set that lasted 31 minutes. Ostapenko was solid on her first serve, winning 10 of 14 points on it, which helped her overcome the five double faults she made in the set.
When the second set got going, Ostapenko was still committing double faults which saw the Russian jump on her vulnerability. While Pavlyuchenkova managed her serve significantly better, she kept up the pressure on the Latvian to go ahead four games.
The 22-year-old started her recovery in the fifth with a service hold and a break after that, but the damage had already been done. The 28-year-old right-hander launched a final onslaught to break the Latvian in the seventh game before clinching the set to even the match.
The final set started with Pavlyuchenkova securing an opening break. She then held off Ostapenko for the loss of a single point to sit with a 2-0 hold.
An important hold for the Latvian got her into the mix and triggered another push to work hard for points and break to even at two apiece. A third straight game came where Ostapenko had to go to deuce but she secured the hold to begin her ascent.
Mid-way through the set Ostapenko had four consecutive games and a double break, putting her in a good spot to move forward. Pavlyuchenkova snapped the winning streak of her opponent with a break but struggled to get her serve under control.
Ostapenko countered beautifully with a break to love and sat one game from the third round. The Latvian then came up with an ace but erred twice to give the 28-year-old another chance at turning the tables.
With the break in hand, the Russian got into a race for the 10th game, with one player gaining match point and the other saving it.
Despite the effort it took to save another two, the Latvian pushed hard in a crosscourt rally on her third match point that Pavlyuchenkova couldn’t keep going, ending her tournament in 1 hour and 48 minutes.
With two big wins under her belt in Canada, the former French Open champion has enough time to prepare for her match against qualifier Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic on Thursday.