Jelena Ostapenko bests Barbora Krejcikova to claim second title on grass in Birmingham

Jelena Ostapenko

Jelena Ostapenko won her second title on grass with victory over Barbora Krejcikova in the final of the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham.

In a battle of the top two seeds, it was the second seed who came out on top, with Ostapenko triumphing 7-6 (8) 6-4.

It was the Latvian’s first title since Dubai last February and her first on grass since Eastbourne in 2021.

Ostapenko clinched a very tight first set on her fourth set point in the tie-break after saving one chance for Krejcikova and moved to the brink of victory at 5-1 in the second set.

Czech Krejcikova, who will return to the top 10 on Monday, threatened a comeback, winning three games in a row, but Ostapenko made it across the line.

“She’s a really great player and congrats to her and her team,” said the 26-year-old, who has survived several close battles this week.

“I was really close from 5-1 to 5-4 but then I managed somehow and I’m really, really happy about it. I was fighting every match. I played five great matches, this was the only match in two sets. It’s a great preparation for Wimbledon and there’s still a couple of things I can do better.”

Krejcikova, who was playing her first final on grass, did not drop a set until the final and felt losing the first-set tie-break was crucial to the outcome.

“She’s playing well,” said the top seed. “I’m disappointed but that’s tennis. (The tie-break) was maybe the key to the match because when you play the first set that long and you are up, down, up, down all the time – I was very unfortunate.

“I definitely had a great week. It was really nice to be here, I really enjoyed it. It’s special to play on a centre court and to enjoy the support. I’m definitely looking forward to coming back.”

The 2017 Roland Garros winner won in 1 hour, 51 minutes against  a fellow Top 20 player and French Open singles champion.

“Just to fight for every single point, and to play until the very last point, because some matches I was down, but I managed to win them,” Ostapenko said when asked what she would take away from the tournament beside the trophy and purse. “I’m just really proud of myself the way I fought. That’s probably the key which brought me the title here.”

Ostapenko won her sixth career WTA Tour singles championship with her lone straight-sets victory of the week.

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