Sun, 03 Dec 2023

Abu Dhabi [UAE], February 7 (ANI): No.5 seed Jelena Ostapenko came out on top of a rollercoaster in the first round at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, defeating Danielle Collins 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a match that lasted two hours and 18 minutes.

Ostapenko will play either Zheng Qinwen or qualifier Rebecca Marino in the second round.

Unpredictable momentum swings characterised the confrontation between two of the tour's top first-strike power practitioners. No. 42-ranked Collins broke Ostapenko with a faultless return winner to take the opening set 4-3. But the American double-faulted down break point when serving for the set, and Ostapenko grabbed the show with a four-game surge.

Collins, a former Australian Open semifinalist, answered admirably in the second set. Three straight return wins helped build a double-break lead and set the stage for a one-sided stretch of play. After winning a fierce struggle at the opening of the final, Ostapenko regained the initiative and converted her fifth break point to take the lead 2-1.

Collins was able to tie the score at 4-4 thanks to three double faults from the former Roland Garros champion in one game, but Ostapenko was more decisive and aggressive in the last stretch. She rallied to score 12 of the final 15 points after falling behind 5-4 to win.

"Danielle is a great player, and it's always a tough match against her because she plays really well and she's such a fighter. The match is never over until we shake hands. I'm really glad that, even though in some games I didn't play my best, I was fighting and I managed to win the match. These kinds of matches give confidence," quoted Ostapenko as saying.

Meanwhile, on Day 1, Marta Kostyuk pulled off a remarkable drop shot from the baseline en route to her 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 first-round win over Sorana Cirstea. (ANI)

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