February 08, 2023
World No.12 Jelena Ostapenko booked her place in the next round after producing an impressive performance to overcome Danielle Collins in three sets as the main singles category got underway at the inaugural Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
Headlining’s Monday’s play at the International Tennis Centre in Zayed Sports Centre, Ostapenko came out on top in the first-round encounter with the Latvian triumphing 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in the WTA 500-level event that has attracted a strong field of top-20 players.
Spectators at Stadium Court were treated to an entertaining match. In a tight opening set, Ostapenko did enough to take the first set 7-5 but Collins, a runner-up at the 2022 Australian Open bounced back to level the tie 6-1 in a one-sided set.
In the decider, both players were at the top of their game but Ostapenko broke Collins’ serve late on to seal the set 7-5.
Speaking after the match, Ostapenko, a quarter-finalist at the recent Australian Open, was pleased to come through this difficult test.
The 25-year-old, said: “It was a tough opening match against Collins, an Australian Open finalist and there is no easy draw at all in tournaments but I was glad that I was fighting until the last point in the match. There were times where I didn’t play my best so these type of matches will give me a lot of confidence.
“Collins is a great player and is always very difficult to play against and I feel very proud of myself today.”
In the other singles matches, Belgium’s Elise Mertens claimed a straight-sets victory against Italy’s Martina Trevisan 6-0, 6-2, to book her place in the last-16 while Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk needed three sets to secure a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 victory over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.
In the qualifying rounds, Canada’s Leylah Fernandez beat Ukraine’s Katarina Zavatska 6-1, 6-4 to set up a first-round clash against USA’s Shelby Rogers.
In the doubles category, Sania Mirza and Bethanie Mattek-Sands were knocked out after losing 6-3, 6-4 to Kirsten Flipkens and Laura Siegemund. Earlier in the day, Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic advanced following a 6-3, 6-4 win against Veronika Kudermetova and Liudmila Samsonova.