Jelena Ostapenko will take on Veronika Kudermetova in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The Latvian outplayed Simona Halep in their semi-final on Friday, coming from a set down to win 2-6, 7-6(0), 6-0 in an hour and 36 minutes.
In the opening set, Halep imposed her game on Ostapenko. The twice former champion didn’t face a single break point but converted both break points she had on Ostapenko’s serve. The second set saw both players exchange breaks but unlike in the first, Halep’s serve started to come under pressure more.
In the tie-break, it was Ostapenko’s turn to dominate over the proceedings as she didn’t lose a single point to clinch the tie-break 7-0 to win the second set and level the match. The deciding set was entirely directed in Ostapenko’s favour, who saved all three break points she faced while converting both break points she had on Halep’s serve.
In the third set, the serve statistics make for an interesting comparison. Both players did poorly when it came to winning second-serve points – Ostapenko won 20% while Halep won 16%. But where the former won 86% of her first-serve points, Halep could only manage to win 36% off her first serves.
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships: Jelena Ostapenko continues to thrive
This week, Ostapenko’s defeated four Major champions consecutively to reach the last round. Speaking about her performance, the 2017 French Open winner said, “Again, playing a Grand Slam champion fourth match in a row, it’s not easy.
She was playing completely different tennis from what Petra (Kvitova, her quarter-final opponent) was playing. She was playing much slower, almost no pace comparing to Petra. So, I really had to step in from the beginning, which I didn’t do.
I was stepping back. I didn’t go into the court. When I understood it and changed things, so it started to go my way. I knew I have to play aggressive no matter what, no matter what the score is. She really doesn’t like to play against players who are playing aggressive and take time away from her.
I really knew that I have to do it today, all the match, even if I miss sometimes, which I did. I think it helped me to win”. Meanwhile, Jelena Ostapenko’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships’ final opponent, Veronika Kudermetova received a walkover from Marketa Vondrousova in the semi-final.
The Czech opted not to play the semis after sustaining an injury to her right adductor. “The injury, it started a few days ago and I’ve played so many matches here which has aggravated the injury. I’m really sad to leave the tournament this way but I’ve still enjoyed a great week and (am) proud of how I’ve played.
I’ve played six amazing matches this week having come through qualifying and proud of my performances so it’s unfortunate this has happened,” Vondrousova said, announcing her decision. Photo Credit: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships