Ostapenko overpowers Samsonova in Luxembourg to reach 10th career final

No.3 seed Jelena Ostapenko’s title defence stays on the right track on the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open after a 6-1, 7-6(4) defeat of No.7 seed Liudmila Samsonova within the semifinals, although her passage into her tenth profession ultimate was not with out its issues.

In a battle between two of this yr’s grass-court champions, the Latvian dominated the match with spectacular play till 6-1, 5-1, however was unable to serve it out twice as World No.48 Samsonova started to mount a comeback. Finally, Ostapenko wanted all of her focus to clinch the straight-sets win by reeling off six factors in a row from 1-4 down within the tiebreak.

Ostapenko, who lifted her third profession trophy at Luxembourg 2019, now owns a 9-0 profitable streak on the event. The consequence places the World No.30 into her second ultimate of the yr after her Eastbourne title run in June, and she’s going to bid for her fifth profession title on Sunday towards both No.5 seed Marketa Vondrousova or unseeded 18-year-old Clara Tauson.

Stat nook: Each gamers completed with constructive ratios of winners to unforced errors, Ostapenko tallying 25 to 14 and Samsonova 15 to 9. However Ostapenko had the sting on serve, touchdown 62% of her first deliveries in comparison with the Russian’s 53%. Samsonova’s decrease quantity was significantly vital given Ostapenko’s eagerness in attacking her second serve: the 22-year-old solely received 9 factors behind all of it match, together with only one within the first set.

Ostapenko was additionally sharper on massive factors, regardless of her second-set wobble. She saved three break factors to carry within the third sport of the match, and used that escape as a springboard to rattle off 9 video games in a row. Samsonova was unable to transform any of her 4 break factors within the first set, whereas Ostapenko transformed every of the 4 she introduced up over the course of the match.

A mix of Ostapenko errors and ferocious Samsonova returns put the latter getting ready to pulling off an unlikely comeback, however at 1-4 down within the tiebreak Ostapenko managed to regular the ship with out sacrificing aggression.

Quotable: “In some unspecified time in the future I finished enjoying my sport,” stated Ostapenko within the on-court interview afterwards. “I missed so many balls and I began to hurry. [But the key was] to struggle to remain within the match. I performed rather well at first however I could not shut it – I needed to struggle and luxuriate in it.”

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