Jelena Ostapenko earned a much deserving win at the Rogers Cup on Monday. The Latvian star, who took a slide in recent memory, snapped a three-match losing streak by defeating Caroline Garcia in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 on National Bank Grandstand Court at the Aviva Tennis Centre. The victory marked the first time Ostapenko made it through an opening-round match in Toronto.
The pair met for the first time and both have been struggling midway through the 2019 season. The Latvian's performance levels had been lower than expected while Garcia has endured some patchy form since her quarter-final exit in Mallorca. While her 5-7 record on the hard courts didn't show much promise, all she needed to do was expose Ostapenko but both were vying for a good start in Canada.
They began the set strong with good holds on one another before things took a turn of frustration for both. Ostapenko began committing double faults while Garcia hit the ball wide of the court. Through the next four games, the pace slowed with both struggling to maintain service. Things looked up in the seventh when the Latvian had to play deuce but produced two AD points to sit up 4-3.
A serve to love built some confidence in the 22-year-old to play for the set, reaching triple breakpoint and locking it down on the second attempt to earn a 6-3 lead after 36 minutes. While it was strong, her six double faults caused plenty of problems before Garcia's own errors essentially levelled the playing field. The French star had good offense but struggled on the return game, making just 6 of 17 points contested.
With a second opportunity to fix things, Garcia followed Ostapenko with a service hold despite needing two breaks to lock it down. Rewarded with a break of the Latvian, she was broken back in the fourth which negated the opportunity to gain control. Ostapenko held firm in the fifth and captured the double-break on Garcia, giving her a single point in a second successive game.
The 22-year-old reached 5-2 with another service game locked down but was denied a triple break when Garcia recorded a serve to love. With the opportunity to serve for the match, Ostapenko didn't waste the chance and won her place in the second-round on match point two with a line drive to end Garcia after one hour and 12 minutes.Published 06 Aug 2019, 06:28 IST