Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Total Open
Elina Svitolina advances to the Quarterfinals
Elina Svitolina has finally figured-out the frustrating riddle of Jelena Ostapenko. Like today, her two previous clashes with the aggressive Latvian were tight 2-setters. This time, Elina won them both.
During Jelena’s relentless ascent to the top-10 in 2017 – shortly after capturing her first Major at Roland Garros – Ostapenko upset Svitolina in Wimbledon’s Round of 16. Eight months later, Jelena did it again in the Miami Quarterfinals. Both matches were tiebreak thrillers, and disappointing losses for the reigning WTA Finals champion.
Today, Svitolina knew she couldn’t blink
In Day-3’s first match on Center Court, Elina jumped ahead 3-0, then lost a break before the third changeover. Instead of focusing on the hiccup, she stuck to strategy – pounding body-serves and pushing the 2016 Doha Finalist from side-to-side with each awkward return.
After snatching set-1 with a late break, Elina fell behind early in the second. Again, unfazed, she matched Ostapenko’s intrinsic aggression. Mishits and missed-lines be damned – her accuracy was on target. Svitolina broke right back and muscled through to victory.
An important mental victory
Clearly, Elina Svitolina always knew she had the goods to take-down Ostapenko. She just needed to execute. Today’s win was rock solid affirmation.
Additionally, it’s been a frustrating start to 2019. As the top-seed in Brisbane, Elina lost her season opener to World #30 Aliaksandra Sasnovich. In Melbourne, she fell to Naomi Osaka in the Quarterfinals. Definitely not the results she expected after capping 2018 by lifting the trophy in Singapore.
Originally, the plan was to skip this year’s Qatar Total Open and focus on the Premier-5 title in Dubai. After the Osaka loss, Elina doubled down on Doha.
Now that a total of 23 players have withdrawn from this year’s tournament – Svitolina, her team, fans and tournament organizers are tickled with the decision to grant the World #7 a late Wild Card.
Head to Head: 3rd meeting between these two players
- 2019 Doha R2 | [4/WC] Elina Svitolina -07- (UKR) def Jelena Ostapenko -22- (LAT) | 64 64
- 2018 Miami QF |  Jelena Ostapenko -05- (LAT) def  Elina Svitolina -04- (UKR) | 76(3) 76(5)
- 2017 Wimbledon R16 |  Jelena Ostapenko -13- (LAT) def  Elina Svitolina -05- (UKR) | 63 76(6)
[4/WC] Elina Svitolina -07- (UKR) | Round-2 Announcer Introduction
The reigning WTA Finals Champion – Last month, she reached her 4th career Grand Slam Quarterfinal at the Australian Open and returns to Doha as the #4-seed. She won 4 of her 13 WTA Singles titles last year – and on clay in Rome, earned her 6th career victory over a World #1, defeating Simona Halep to capture the Italian Open. By season’s end, she qualified for the WTA Finals for a second time – and played the tournament of her life, defeating five fellow top-10 opponents to earn the biggest title of her career – and with the victory, finished the season ranked inside the top-5 for the first time. Competing in her 5th Qatar Total Open – From Ukraine, please welcome the #7 Player in the World, Elina Sviolina.
- R2 — W | Jelena Ostapenko -22- (LAT) | Score: 6-4, 6-4
- R1 — BYE
Jelena Ostapenko -22- (LAT) | Round-2 Announcer Introduction
3-years-ago, she made her Doha debut as an 88th-ranked 18-year-old – and stunned the field – defeating World #8 Petra Kvitova en-route to her first career WTA Premier-5 Final. Since then, she’s assembled quite a resume. In 2017, she captured her first Major title at Roland Garros, earned her second in Seoul, reached the WTA Finals, is now a 6-time Finalist on Tour, and has been ranked as high as World #5. In her Doha return last year, she partnered with Gabriela Dabrowski to capture her 3rd career WTA Doubles title. A member of her country’s Fed Cup since she was 15-years-old, over the weekend – at home in Riga – she helped lift her country to the Fed Cup World Group Playoffs for the 1st-time. From Latvia, please welcome 2016 Finalist and 2018 Doubles Champion, Jelena Ostapenko.
- R2 — L | [4/WC] Elina Svitolina -07- (UKR) | Score: 4-6, 4-6
- R1 — W | Mihaela Buzarnescu -29- (ROU) | Score: 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 | RECAP