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Jelena Ostapenko takes winning step on clay into Stuttgart Open tennis quarter-finals

Jelena Ostapenko, ranked fifth on the WTA, broke her 52nd Kazakh opponent Zarina Diyas five times as she won in just 63 minutes to reach the Stuttgart Open tennis quarter-finals.

tennis Updated: Apr 26, 2018 21:13 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Stuttgart
Jelena Ostapenko,Stuttgart Open,Stuttgart Open tennis
Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko returns the ball to Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas during their Stuttgart Open match on Thursday.(AFP)

Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko continued to build for her Paris title defence with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Zarina Diyas on Thursday at the Stuttgart Grand Prix.

The Latvian was joined in the quarterfinals at the Porsche arena by fifth seed Karolina Pliskova as the Czech beat Russian qualifier Veronika Kudermetova 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.

Ostapenko, ranked fifth on the WTA, broke her 52nd Kazakh opponent five times as she won in just 63 minutes.

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“The early matches are tough but I think I played really well today and I’m just happy with the win,” Ostapenko said.

The 20-year-old added that said she is still adjusting to life as a Grand Slam champion: “I expected I could win a Grand Slam but not at this early age.

“I just understood a couple of months later. Of course there is more attention from everyone. I got more popular especially in my country and almost every match I played I was as a favourite.

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“At the beginning of this year, it was a little bit tough, a lot of pressure but I think I got used to it; especially after the Miami final (which she lost to Sloane Stephens) I’m feeling much better.”

Pliskova, noted for a big serve, hammered 15 aces as she beat Kudermetova in a match that lasted just past the 90-minute mark.

The Czech won her first with the number 193rd ranked Russian.

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 20:59 IST