Jelena Ostapenko gets brutally honest on if she was surprised by Iga Swiatek exit

Ostapenko faced Yulia Putintseva in the Wimbledon round-of-16 after the Kazakh upset Swiatek.

by Dzevad Mesic
Jelena Ostapenko gets brutally honest on if she was surprised by Iga Swiatek exit
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Jelena Ostapenko probably didn't give an answer some reporters were expecting to hear from her as the Latvian tennis star said she wasn't surprised at all that Yulia Putintseva was really competitive against Iga Swiatek and ultimately managed to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. 

On Saturday, top-seeded Swiatek exited Wimbledon in the third round after world No. 35 Putintseva saw off the five-time Grand Slam champion 3-6 6-1 6-2. That same day, world No. 14 Ostapenko safely earned a round-of-16 spot after dismantling Bernarda Pera 6-1 6-3. 

While the Swiatek loss was shocking, it was also disappointing for many fans who were hoping to see the Pole take on Ostapenko in the Wimbledon round-of-16. Even though Swiatek has been undoubtedly the best player in the game for the past two and a half years and has accomplished a lot, she still hasn't beaten one player - Ostapenko. Had an Ostapenko and Swiatek Wimbledon match happened, the 27-year-old Latvian would have entered with a 4-0 head-to-head record against the Pole.

But instead, Ostapenko faced Putintseva and easily made it past the 29-year-old Kazakh 6-2 6-3. 

After overcoming Putintseva, 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko was asked if she was surprised about avoiding Swiatek. 

“I honestly knew it wasn’t going to be an easy match. Especially because Yulia won Birmingham. She can be dangerous on grass. She can play different tennis. She can slice and do different things. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy match for Iga. Especially because grass isn’t her favorite surface. I was ready for both opponents. I was just trying to focus on my game and what I have to do," Ostapenko said. 

Ostapenko's warning for her Wimbledon competition

Through the opening four matches at The All England Club, Ostapenko hasn't dropped a single set. And not only that all of those four wins came in straight sets, they were also pretty dominant since the Latvian hasn't lost more than a total of five games in every of her four matches played. 

“This is one of my favorite tournaments. I won it in juniors. I have great memories. We’re in a different place now. But I’m just really happy with my performance. I’m enjoying my time here so much. Thank you guys. I love to be here.”

“I feel like I’m playing really good players but my level is really good in deciding moments especially. And I’m just tying to play my game and be aggressive in those deciding moments. I think that’s the key. I think so far I’m doing pretty okay.”

Jelena Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko© Getty Images Sport - Sean M. Haffey

Ostapenko, who became a Grand Slam champion at 19, has been playing very aggressively at Wimbledon and admits returning to her old style but in a more mature approach is one of the keys to her strong run. 

"I think I have more confidence and I am more mature on the court, especially in this tournament. I know what I have to do and I am doing it quite well, especially in the decisive moments. I am just doing things the way I have been doing before, like when I won Roland Garros when I was back in the top 10. I feel like I am doing things better than before," Ostapenko explained.

Ostapenko makes a claim about grass courts 

Ostapenko may be having an absolutely great Wimbledon run but shares that she and other players believe the grass courts at The All England Club have been more slippery this year than was the case in the past.

"In the locker room we have talked about how this year the grass is a bit more slippery than before," Ostapenko shared. 

Jelena Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko© Getty Images Sport - Sean M. Haffey

Meanwhile, Ostapenko is set to take on 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in the Wimbledon quarterfinal. When they meet, it will be their eighth meeting as Ostapenko leads their head-to-head 5-2. And not only that the Latvian has a positive head-to-head versus Krejcikova, she also beat the 28-year-old Czech in their lone grass meeting in Eastbourne last year. 

While Ostapenko probably has the edge in their meeting, former world No. 2 Krejcikova is feeling fully healthy again and ready to play the Latvian.

“I’m definitely looking forward to that match. I’m for the first time in quarterfinals, and we’re going to celebrate it tonight, have some good food," Krejcikova said ahead of the Ostapenko match.

Jelena Ostapenko Iga Swiatek Yulia Putintseva