Was Jelena Ostapenko's regression predictable?


by   |  VIEW 3686
Was Jelena Ostapenko's regression predictable?

The victory at the French Open 2017 turned on the lights on a possible future WTA champion: Jelena Ostapenko. It often happens that with only one victory, especially after the pregnancy of Serena Williams, a good tennis player is immediately labeled as a phenomenon or as a future dominator of women's tennis.

There have been other colleagues more titled than Ostapenko, like her with only one element in common: discontinuity. In fact, the Latvian did not give an echo to the Parisian victory of two years ago. On the contrary, after the excellent semi-final at Wimbledon 2018 (the only noteworthy moment of her last season), she is experiencing a very frustrating and discouraging 2019, with also the final of Linz lost against the young Cori Gauff.

Let me be clear: she is a highly overrated tennis player, despite her young age, especially in terms of mental solidity. At only twenty-two, she should be able to improve a lot in the near future, and she could also get excellent results, but for now, her role is that of a background-actress.

Today it has to be said that expectations have not been met and that her season, at least so far, is simply disastrous. To give a concrete example: in 2019 she never went beyond the third round of a WTA tournament. Results too disappointing for a Slam champion.

Her tennis is not finding adequate tactical accommodation, while her growth in terms of charisma and solidity seems to be blocked. This is a problem that increasingly happens in young tennis players, after the first successes.

It is also happening to Garbine Muguruza, Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty, after their recent successes. The lethargy of Muguruza actually lasts for two years. It must be said Ostapenko has a point in favor: the young age. In the coming years, she will be able to refine the skills that are still too raw today and do not allow her to show her real potential.

Even if in the next few years the competition will be ruthless, with many of her peers already ready to do battle. Will the Latvian be able to carve out her space in a Tour overloaded with protagonists?