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Sport

'Boom or bust' Ostapenko striving for consistency in game

PARIS (Reuters) - It has been pretty much boom-or-bust for Jelena Ostapenko at Roland Garros and the Latvian said on Tuesday she is striving for consistency after registering her only victory at the French Open outside her championship run in 2017.

FILE PHOTO: Australian Open - Second Round, Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 23, 2020 Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko walks off court dejected after losing the match against Switzerland's Belinda Bencic REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The only time the 23-year-old did not lose her opening main draw match at Roland Garros, she went on to win the title as an unseeded player.

“I just have to be more confident in my game and more consistent. If there is consistency in my game, I think I’m going to be a very dangerous player and it’s going to be not easy to beat me,” said Ostapenko, who was ranked fifth in 2018.

“That’s what I’m working on, my consistency. Sometimes I feel like I play well, and then some matches I don’t play well. But if I get my consistency back like in 2017 and beginning of 2018, I think I’ll be back in like top 10.”

Ostapenko, currently ranked 43rd, dismantled American Madison Brengle 6-2 6-1 in just over an hour on Tuesday to set up an exciting second round clash against second seed Karolina Pliskova.

“After I won it was a tough time,” Ostapenko told reporters. “I had to get used to the pressure but now it’s all gone, and finally I won my first match after two years, like, not winning a match here. I’m really happy with that.

“First rounds are always tough and you get tight sometimes and you have to deal with the pressure. I felt really well today on court. Hopefully I can keep it up.”

Ostapenko was aggressive from the start and broke her opponent’s serve seven times in the two sets.

She found 46 winners, compared to just six that Brengle managed, while also having 22 unforced errors more than her 78th-ranked opponent.

“Today my goal was to step in the court and be aggressive all the match, because I knew that I have to play that way against her to beat her, because she’s very consistent player,” Ostapenko said of Brengle.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge

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