Italian Open: Jelena Ostapenko's comeback heroics see off Barbora Krejcikova in 3R

Paula Badosa, Donna Vekic, Karolina Muchova and Daria Kasatkina also clinched R32 triumphs

by Abbey Johnson
Italian Open: Jelena Ostapenko's comeback heroics see off Barbora Krejcikova in 3R

Jelena Ostapenko defeated Barbora Krejcikova in a bizarre yet interesting third-round clash of two past French Open titlists on Sunday. The 2017 champion in Paris came through 7-6(2), 6-0 after 75 minutes. Starting the match, the 2021 Roland Garros winner built up a 5-1 lead in the opening set but then Ostapenko snatched the momentum from her pushing the set into the tie-break.

In the tie-break, the Latvian conceded only two points en route to taking the set. Bolstered by her showing in the first set, Ostapenko was even more dominant in the second set even as Krejcikova faded away without being able to come up with much of a counter-game.

Ostapenko had 21 winners, a dozen more than her opponent’s nine. She also had five fewer unforced errors to the latter’s 23. Ostapenko faced three break points, all of which came in the first set. While she was able to save only one of these, she retaliated by converting five of six break points on the Czech’s serve.

A two-time past quarter-finalist in Rome, Ostapenko will now play eighth seed Daria Kasatkina in the fourth round. Kasatkina won her third-round match against Julia Grabher, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(2) after three hours and 19 minutes of play.

Italian Open: Elena Rybakina reaches maiden pre-quarter-final

Earlier in the day, Karolina Muchova also moved into the round-of-16. The Czech got through home player Camila Giorgi, 7-6(4), 6-2 in an hour and 56 minutes. Spain’s Paula Badosa also made her way into the fourth round after upsetting 32nd seed Marta Kostyuk.

Badosa needed just about 90 minutes to wrap up a 6-4, 6-2 win over the Ukrainian. Badosa will play Muchova for a chance to reach the quarter-finals. Donna Vekic, the 21st seed prevailed over 16th seed Liudmila Samsonova in their round-of-32 clash.

Samsonova won the opener but the Croatian scored a 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 comeback victory after two hours and 38 minutes. Vekic will play Iga Swiatek for a quarter-final spot. Lastly, seventh seed Elena Rybakina made it to the fourth round of the Italian Open after her opponent, Anna Kalinskaya retired mid-match.

Rybakina led Kalinskaya 4-3 in the first set at the time. This is the first time that Rybakina's made it this far in the European event. Photo Credit: Italian Open Twitter

Jelena Ostapenko Donna Vekic Daria Kasatkina