2016 Aegon International

Ostapenko wins teenage battle

Latvian star shines against promising Russian

Defeated Daria Kasatkina

Jelena Ostapenko served up a warning at the Aegon International to watch out for the new kid on the block after she produced sublime shots to bounce out Daria Kasatkina.

The little-known Latvian, who shocked two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova last week, waltzed into the 2nd Round with a 4-6 6-2 6-3 win.

The 19-year-old had seen off Czech Kvitova for the second time this season, adding Birmingham’s Aegon Classic victory to the triumph in Doha earlier this year.

The 2012 Junior Wimbledon champion, made a stuttering start to surprisingly concede the opening set to her Russian opponent. But teenager Kasatkina, who stunned American veteran Venus Williams this term, gave as good as she got to keep the battle going.

Ostapenko dominated the second set, which left the Russian despondent and allowed Ostapenko to capitalise at every opportunity and seal success with a superb range of shots in a tighter deciding set than the result shows.

Both players are considered by current and former players to have bright futures on the WTA Tour.

However, it is Ostapenko who has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of others – Agnieszka Radwanska (2008), Caroline Wozniacki (2009), Madison Keys (2014) and Belinda Bencic (2015) – who captured the crown at Eastbourne and went on to greater things in the sport.

Future Star

Jelena Ostapenko, the little-known Latvian teenager, is potentially dangerous and could easily follow in the footsteps of those who kick-started their climb to the world’s top 10 by winning the Eastbourne crowd.

The 19-year-old is fast becoming an opponent to avoid on the circuit, as Kvitova has discovered twice this term that included a three-set reversal at last week’s Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

This is the sort of tournament where Ostapenko could become the new shining star if she can sparkle from the start because this event is tough with such a strong line-up of former world #1 aces and Grand Slam winners.

Watch out for her name because Ostapenko is player who could easily become a household name after Eastbourne and Wimbledon courtesy of her vast array of weapons that are suited to grass.


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