Jelena Ostapenko began Thursday’s action at 2020 Roland Garros with one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. The Latvian defeated second seed Karolina Pliskova in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in just 69 minutes. This is the only second time Ostapenko has reached the round-of-32 in the French capital.
The last time she did so, back in 2017, she made it all the way to the final before claiming her first – and until now, only – Major. Ostapenko flew off the blocks as she broke Pliskova to start the match. While the Czech broke right back, the world no.
43 retaliated with a second break of serve and backed it up by consolidating it to go up 3-1. The see-sawing of service breaks continued a while longer as Pliskova steadied the set once again in the sixth game. However, a third break of her serve proved decisive as Ostapenko held long enough to serve out the set.
The second set followed the first’s trajectory with the lower-ranked player once again going up an early break over the world no. 4. Only this time around, there was no break backs for Pliskova to grab onto and Ostapenko, after converting a second break of serve in the seventh game, served out the match without any problems.
The former champion went for her shots without hesitation even as Pliskova struggled to get her rhythm afoot. Winners flew aplenty off Ostapenko’s racquet even as Pliskova’s error count kept multiplying to help keep her game in tandem.
Ostapenko finished the match with 27 winners and 19 unforced errors while Pliskova had just nine winners, and 25 unforced errors. Ostapenko won 67 points to Pliskova’s 46 for the entirety of the match. Ostapenko awaits either the 29th-seeded Sloane Stephens or Spain’s Paula Badosa next.
2020 Roland Garros: Petra Kvitova aces Jasmine Paolini test
Pliskova’s compatriot, seventh seed Petra Kvitova had a better day in her match against Italy’s qualifier Jasmine Paolini. Kvitova advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Paolini in an hour and 24 minutes.
She will play either Leylah Fernandez or Polona Hercog for a place in the pre-quarterfinals. Danielle Collins made it to the third round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Danish teen and qualifier Clara Tauson in 70 minutes. She faces the winner of the Garbine Muguruza-Kristyna Pliskova match for a sport in the round-of-16.
Aryna Sabalenka, seeded eighth, also took her place in the third round. The Belarusian defeated Russian Daria Kasatkina 7-6(6), 6-0 in an hour and 29 minutes. Sabalenka will play either Nao Hibino or the 30th seed Ons Jabeur for a place in the last-16.
Fourth seed Sofia Kenin avoided suffering a similar fate as Karolina Pliskova as she survived a determined Ana Bogdan to reach the fourth round at 2020 Roland Garros. The 2020 Australian Open champion came back from a set down and held her nerves in the final moments of the third set to clinch a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over the Romanian in an hour and 51 minutes.
Kenin hit 34 winners and had 35 unforced errors, and won a total of 86 points for the match. Photo Credit: Roland Garros Twitter