When Jelena Ostapenko can drop her right, She is one of the most dangerous tennis players on the circuit. In Doha, it is being like that. Against Garbiñe Muguruza, in the quarterfinals, it was no different. After a hesitant Australian tour and unsuccessful title defense in Dubai, the Hispanic-Venezuelan roared again. She did it, and with many decibels, in the round of 16 against Madison Brengle, with a torrent of winners; Ostapenko, 13 in the world, returned the gale. Double 6-2 in 1:06. 66 minutes of a devastating hurricane headed for Anett Kontaveit, his rival in the semifinals. Garbiñe, for her part, says goodbye to a tournament in which she has been a finalist twice, including the last edition, and leaves the competition an orphan of Spaniards, given the fall of Paula Badosa against Coco Gauff.
This beginning of the year is serving Ostapenko to confirm his candidacy for the top. He touched the glory extremely young, winning Roland-Garros at the age of 19, and since then he has been looking for that regularity that leaves no doubt. In 2022, she is finding her. With the victory against Muguruza, he has surpassed his best winning streak in a row. She already links nine and five of them went to be crowned in Dubai. With fourteen in total, she has returned to the Top 20 ranking for the first time since 2018 and, right now, she is the sixth best tennis player of the course. If she wins the tournament, she can be placed as the second most points player of the year. A string of achievements to highlight his exceptional state of form and, also, the wall that Garbiñe had in front of him.
The memories of the Spanish in front of Jelena, however, were sweet. Four direct confrontations between the two and three victories for Conchita Martínez’s pupil, pensive in the stands and as overcome as everyone present. Surely, if anyone could control the ‘Hurricane Ostapenko’ in this WTA 1,000 it was the Spanish, but, if it is possible, it will have to be someone else who is brave. “He is playing well and has a lot of confidence, but I hope to put out my best tennis and put up a tough fight,” Muguruza advanced in the preview. The 24-year-old tennis player did not give him options or try.
In a blink of an eye, first set in the pocket. Less than half an hour to add about twenty winning shots with an imposing physical display. In the second game, he signed a first break with a message, staring at Muguruza. The tennis player born in Caracas, trying to empty the sea into buckets, broke for 2-3, but the counter-break it was as immediate as it was painful, letting out a 40-15. The dominant tone of a duel marked by the 39 winners of the Latvian (for the five of Garbiñe), with 21 unforced errors that are just a sign of his current aggressiveness on the track. “It was easier than expected. I’m enjoying my tennis right now and I’m looking forward to it the semifinals”, he assured after the game. Fifth champion of Grand Slam charging on his wonderful streak… and looking for his next victim.