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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Ostapenko beats Collins in seesaw Abu Dhabi opener

Ostapenko beats Collins in seesaw Abu Dhabi opener

No. 5 seed Yelena Ostapenko emerged from a rollercoaster first-round performance at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open to beat Dan 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in 2 hours and 18 minutes. Neil Collins.

Ostapenko, who won her fifth and most recent title in Dubai last February, is now on a six-game winning streak on UAE soil. It was her second win at the professional level against Collins; the Latvian also won 7-6(1), 6-3 in the 2018 Miami semifinals.

Ostapenko, ranked 12th in the world, just reached the Australian Open quarter-finals last month and will face Zheng Qinwen or qualifier Rebecca Marino in the second round.

Meanwhile, on Day 1, Marta Kostyuk was successful A remarkable shot from the baseline During their first round win over Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 1-6, 6-2.

turning point: The clash between two of the tour’s most important first strikers has been characterized by unpredictable swings in momentum. In the first set, Collins, ranked 42nd, took the lead and broke Ostapenko with a 4-3 lore. But the U.S. double-faulted a break point on serve, and Ostapenko took the lead with a four-game winning streak.

Former Australian Open finalist Collins responded brilliantly in the second set, returning the winner in three straight sets to set the stage for a double-break lead and set the tone for the one-sided game. But Ostapenko seized a huge fight at the start of the decider to regain momentum and convert her fifth break point to take a 2-1 lead.

The former Roland Garros champion had three double faults in a match that gave Collins a 4-4 tie, but at home, Ostapenko was more aggressive and aggressive. Trailing 5-4, she scored 12 of the final 15 points to seal the win.

By numbers: The final tally was in Collins’ favor: 33 game winners (including 11 aces) to Ostapenko’s 30 (including six aces), an equal number of unforced errors (44 each) and more Fewer double faults (7 to 9).

But one meaningful difference between the two numbers is the efficiency of the second serve. Collins trailed by just five of 19 points in the first set and seven of 17 in the third. Overall, she hits 37 percent of her second serves, compared with 49 percent for Ostapenko.

In fact, Ostapenko hit a respectable 67 percent and 53 percent of his second serves in the first and third sets, respectively. In the mid-set, it was not so much her second serve that let her down twice, and she only scored five points in total.

In Ostapenko’s words: “Danielle is a great player and it’s always tough to play against her because she plays really well and she’s a fighter. The game is never over until we shake hands. I’m really happy , even though in some games I didn’t give my best, I was fighting and I managed to win games. Such games give confidence.

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