Jelena Ostapenko won her 11th consecutive Grand Slam match in the Wimbledon fourth round on Monday with a straight-sets win over No4 seed Elina Svitolina, who predicts the Latvian’s game will break down sooner or later.
Ostapenko, who made a stunning run to the French Open title last month to capture her first tour-level trophy, has been in fierce form, with no signs of slowing down. The 20-year-old needed eight match points to close out a 6-3, 7-6 (6) win over Svitolina and next faces five-time champion Venus Williams in the quarter-finals.
Svitolina, who was playing her first Wimbledon fourth round, expects Ostapenko to feel the pressure of her sudden rise later in the season.
“Well, it’s normal, because she has lots of confidence now. She won lots of matches. It will be interesting to see, you know, when she will struggle a bit later in the year and stuff, how she gonna play. Because I know her couple of years already. So I know how she can play. There is some bad times in her game, as well,” said the Ukrainian after her loss.
“Now she played brilliant game and match. And, yeah, it’s nothing really to say. I did my best. I fought until the end, and those few points that she made the winner like unbelievable angle, you know, is not much I could do.”
The last time a maiden Grand Slam winner reached the quarter-finals in the next major was Kim Clijsters, who claimed her first Slam at the 2005 US Open then reached the semis in the 2006 US Open.
Ostapenko has hit a total of 121 winners so far this tournament, averaging 30.25 winners per match.
Ostapenko has been displaying fearless tennis at the important moments but against Svitolina, she let a 6-3, 5-3, 40/15 lead slip before she closed out the match in a tiebreak. The seemingly nerveless youngster admits she suffered a brief lapse in her resolve at that moment in the contest.
“Today I was a little bit nervous because I was, like, 6-3, 5-3 up, 40-15 and serving. I didn’t serve so well. So after that, I was a little bit nervous because I also was 6-5, 30-Love down, and she was serving,” said Ostapenko. “I’m glad that I fought and won the match.”
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