Jelena Ostapenko has absolutely obliterated Emma Raducanu at the Stuttgart Open in less than one hour as the British star continues her tough run of form. The British No.1 has been struggling with a wrist injury in recent weeks, but the grand slam winner was able to win three matches in a row at Indian Wells before Iga Swiatek ended her resurgence.
The next week another top seed Bianca Andreescu knocked Raducanu out in the first round of the Miami Open. And unfortunately for the struggling 20-year-old, Raducanu has once again ran into a top player in sensational form as Ostapenko blasted her off the court with a 6-2 6-1 victory.
The Latvian established a 4-1 lead with a second successive break as Raducanu struggled to deal with the weight of her opponent's hitting. Ostapenko was running Raducanu around on the clay and showed why she was a Roland Garros champion at just 20 years old.
Raducanu's response was to win the first six points of the second set, holding service impressively to love before establishing a 30-0 lead in the second game, but the door was slammed firmly shut as the world No. 22 rattled off 17 successive points to go 4-1 up. Raducanu managed to fashion her first break point of the next game.
"I don't think I've ever seen her play better, even when she won Roland Garros all those years ago," the commentator said, referencing her French Open win in 2017. "She might well smile, that was some performance."
Following the match, Ostapenko was full of praise for Raducanu and acknowledged her own aggressive style as the key to her success on clay. "I knew against her the main thing was to step in the court," Ostapenko said in her post-match interview.
"Of course, I missed some balls but I tried to be aggressive all the time when it was possible. Just try to take the ball early, don't give her many chances. And finally, I'm back on clay, my favorite surface."
Jelena Ostapenko sets up Ons Jabeur blockbuster
Ostapenko was critical of her own game and said she needed to rediscover her 2017 form that catapulted her to a maiden grand slam title.
"It can sound a bit strange but I felt like I was stepping back a little bit too much in the years when I wasn't playing well. When I'm stepping into the court and I play fearless like at the French Open and try to hit winners — of course, not crazy, but play a bit smarter — that's what's working well."
Tennis fans were left amazed at Ostapenko's level and labelled the match a 'beatdown'.
Jelena Ostapenko overwhelms Emma Raducanu in Stuttgart 6-2 6-1
Won nearly twice the points (52 to 27). Converted all five break points & attacked (what else?) to win 80 percent of Raducanu's second serve points
Raducanu now has lost 3 straight in 2023#gettyt pic.twitter.com/wcPqnUccif
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) April 18, 2023
Ostapenko beats Emma Raducanu 6-2 6-1 in Stuttgart
In case you forgot how immaculately Jelena can play, she won 17 points in a row in set 2
Being the fashion icon she is, she took the court looking like a fitness instructor from the 90’s
Her originality is unmatched pic.twitter.com/tLsnXlGx6B
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) April 18, 2023
— sharafan2004 (@sharafan2004) April 18, 2023
To be fair, Emma’s three straight losses have been to Swiatek, Andreescu and Ostapenko. No shame in that.
— Ben (@orca_chaser) April 18, 2023
Ouch. That’s incredibly brutal for Emma, but in all fairness to her though, not many players can live with Ostapenko when she hits the ball that hard. 😬 🤷♂️
— Ijaz Uddin (@uddinbijaz97) April 18, 2023
Ostapenko is set to play No.3 seed Ons Jabeur in the round of 16. Elsewhere, Spanish star Paula Badosa defeated Daria Kasatkina in equally brutal fashion 6-1 6-1.
Badosa will play qualifier Cristina Bucsa in the next round. Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated Martina Trevisan after her opponent retired injured in the second set.
She could face Wimbledon and Indian Wells champion Elena Rybakina in the next round.
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