Jeļena Ostapenko puts herself on the cusp of achieving top ten return

Celebrations from Jelena Ostapenko
A delighted Jelena Ostapenko

Jelena Ostapenko will be the world No 11 on Monday as she continues her drive to return to the top ten of the WTA Rankings.

Ostapenko had a disappointing 2023 campaign but has stated her desire to mix it with the best in the world and return to the top ten.

She started the 2023 season with strong showings Downunder even if she was twice thwarted by Victoria Azarenka.

Ostapenko already has one WTA 500 title in the bag thanks to her championship run in Adelaide and has turned up in Linz ready to fire in pursuit of another.

After her Adelaide win, Ostapenko briefly held a place in the top ten but slipped out again following the Australian Open.

With her victory over British qualifier Jodie Burrage, Ostapenko booked her second semi-final of the season and ensured that she will bag enough rankings points to be on the brink of the top ten.

Ostepenko can move closer to that top ten goal by going further in Linz but won’t be able to haul in Karolina Muchova who will hold the final place in the elite rankings bracket come 5 February.

In the previous round Ostapenko saved one match point en route to a remarkable comeback win over qualifier Clara Tauson achieved in 2 hours and 21 minutes.

“I’m really proud of myself that I was really fighting until the last point, even though I was down,” Ostapenko said afterwards.

The former Roland Garros winner went down 5-1 in the second set after a sluggish start, and it took her two games after losing the second frame to find any kind of consistency.

With a run of five straight games to tie the match, Ostapenko appeared to be in her element, but Tauson improved her game to edge ahead again the third set, helped by the 12 aces she blasted past the Latvian.

Ostapenko was made to work hard to defeat Tauson but breezed past Burrage.

Linz is proving a platform for the ambitious in the rankings with world No 21 Ekaterina Alexandrova securing a two-place jump already while the title would net the semi-finalist a rise to match her career-high of world No 16 next week.

Alexandrova is set for a last four battle with world No 34 Donna Vekic who has put herself in position for a five-place rankings jump at least and a run to the title would see her jump an extra seven places to be world No 22.

The limit of the rankings bump that could be achieved by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who faces Ostapenko in the Linz Open semi-finals is a jump to being the new world No 25 next week.

READ MORE: Jelena Ostapenko breaks down why Iga Swiatek hasn’t been able to beat her