Tue, May 29, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Ostapenko suffers bad day at the office

AFP, PARIS

Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko gestures in her French Open women’s singles first-round match against Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine at Roland Garros in Paris on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Jelena Ostapenko on Sunday was left fuming after a “terrible day at the office” when she became only the second woman in the Open era to see a Roland Garros title defense end in the first round.

The Latvian served 13 double faults and made 48 unforced errors in an error-strewn display as she slumped to a shock 7-5, 6-3 loss to little-known Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova on Philippe Chatrier Court in Paris.

The 20-year-old’s performance was the total opposite of the scintillating attacking tennis that took her to the title 12 months ago.

“I think it was a terrible day at the office today for me,” Ostapenko said. “I mean, in general I played maybe like 20 percent of what I can play. Made like 50 unforced errors and so many double faults. Like couldn’t serve today. Everything together just brought me a really bad result.”

The fifth seed is only the sixth woman in the Open era to lose in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament as defending champion, after Steffi Graf (1994 Wimbledon), Jennifer Capriati (2003 Australian Open), Anastasia Myskina (2005 French Open), Svetlana Kuznetsova (2005 US Open) and Angelique Kerber (last year’s US Open).

Ostapenko said that she was hampered by a leg injury suffered during her quarter-final defeat by Maria Sharapova in Rome last week and by a personal matter earlier on Sunday.

“It’s more personal, but, just in general... Just woke up, you’re like, your mood was not amazing, you just woke up and kind of some things went wrong, and then you are kind of pissed off, in the practice you’re pissed off,” she said. “And then you go to the match and try to be positive, but everything goes not your way and you still try to be positive, but then you lose the match and of course you cannot be positive anymore.”

The French Open is the only Grand Slam that begins on a Sunday and Ostapenko felt that a later start would have helped her regain full fitness.

“I think if I was scheduled on Tuesday, I think Monday or Tuesday, at least one extra day would help me a lot, but unfortunately yesterday I didn’t feel that I was in a great form,” she said.

For Kozlova, it was the biggest win of her career, coming more than two months since she feared she might need knee surgery after suffering an injury at Indian Wells.

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