Jelena Ostapenko sizzles Coco Gauff to get into quarterfinal at Melbourne



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Jelena Ostapenko sizzles Coco Gauff to get into quarterfinal at Melbourne

The day might have been very warm on the courts of the Australisn Open, but Jelena Ostapenko wasn't bothered and kept to her gameplain to win the fourth round of the Melbourne Slam, 7-5, 6-3. "I had nothing to lose," the 17th ranking former French Open winner smilingly said.

Jelena and Gauff had played each other only once with Coco coming out the winner of the Linz tournament four years ago. Ostapenko played her aggressive hand throughout to sting the teen from most areas of the competitive court.

The Latvian came off the bench aggressively letting her racket do all the talking. She knew how dictating Coco could be and she decided to turn the tables on the teen without hestitation. "I was trying to stay positive all the time," Ostapenko had told former WTA player, now court commentator Laura Robson.

The 17th ranked player hardly ever let Coco lead in this straight set win for the Latvian. Gauff at times seemed confused as Jelena used her power and great strategies to stop the teen from her routine rallying ways. Ostapenko did many 'change-ups' to gain her points more than power to come out a winner.

Gauff was grabbed out of her element from the beginning and throughout the opening 45 minute set couldn't find a tactic to win much on Ostapenko. Cross courts, volleying, down the 'T' serving, Jelena used it all to succeed time and again wilting the usual spirited teen.

Jelena Ostapenko was no stranger to having wilted performances as she had faded from the scene of many tournaments this year alone. It was the two Adelaide International events that she lost in the first and second rounds.

The Ostrava event she experienced an opening loss and felt embarrassed but determined to find her groove as she had in winning the 2017 French Open title. This match felt different to Jelena and she explained that "I just...tried to show my best and mke it hard for her.

I'm really happy with the win..." Everyone knows how Gauff can get into her zone ad run off point after point. But it didn't happen here and Jelena took her opportunities and ran with it. "I was fighting to the very last point," Ostapenko said seriously.

Gauff didn't have the answers to many of the Latvian's shots and the fight was more on the side of Coco to just stay up with Jelena in games and not to fall back too much. She did have a surprise slip though on returning a sharp powerful shot.

But her pride was more hurt than her physical being. Now, Gauff still has doubles to play and Ostapenko goes up against last year's Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina who defeated no. 1 Iga Swiatek. Jelena is keeping her eye on the Melbourne trophy but knows that applying the pressure and playing it smart, good things can only be the result.