“I had some negative emotions” Former French Open champion opens up about stressful experiences
Jelena Ostapenko believes she has matured since the days when she struggled in the wake of her remarkable 2017 French Open triumph, but the 23-year-old Latvian admits that there are still times when she feels under pressure.
Her last two tournaments have been clear illustrations of the inconsistency that continues to trouble the world No 44. At the French Open Ostapenko beat Karolina Pliskova, the No 2 seed, in the second round but lost next time out to Paula Badosa, who was making her Roland Garros debut and was ranked No 87 in the world. Then in Ostrava Ostapenko beat Petra Martic, the world No 18, in the first round only to lose her next match to Ons Jabeur, the world No 32.
The Paris defeat against Badosa still appears to rankle with Ostapenko, who did not win a match at Roland Garros in the two years that followed her 2017 victory but appeared to have turned a corner with her wins over Madison Brengle and Pliskova. She could not have faced another seed until the quarter-finals, but Badosa quickly ended her hopes of further progress.
“The draw was quite open so I was very disappointed after my loss,” Ostapenko said. “I was not happy with the way I played in the third round. I think I probably put some pressure on myself because I felt that I could win that match, but I felt that people expected more from me because I had beaten one of the top seeds. I didn’t feel my game so well and I also had some negative emotions. I didn’t play at all well in that match.”
Now she is trying to concentrate on her own game. “It doesn’t really matter who is on the other side of the court,” she said. “Against all players I just try to focus on myself and play my own game.”
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