Jelena Ostapenko moved to 11-1 since the US Open with a straight sets win over Sorana Cirstea in the China Open quarterfinals. The French Open champion toughed-out the 6-4 6-4 win in a high-quality match on Lotus Court.
Current world No. 8 Ostapenko took control of the match early on by showcasing her powerful backhand and aggressive groundstrokes. Two early breaks gave her the decisive advantage in the first set. Cirstea recovered one of them, but the damage had been done and Ostapenko took the opener.
The second set was a similar affair. Despite hitting seven double faults, Ostapenko stayed focused and kept her momentum up throughout. A break midway through the set gave Ostapenko an advantage she would not relinquish, and she booked her place in the semifinals.
Ostapenko will face Simona Halep in the Last Four of the China Open. The pair famously met in the Roland Garros final, when Ostapenko roared back to take the win – and the title – in three enthralling sets.
“She's a great player,” Ostapenko said of her opponent. “If I play my best and I stay aggressive tomorrow and I am consistent, I think everything can happen.
“I have nothing to lose. I think Simona will be the favorite because she's higher ranked.
“I'm already in semifinal, third week in a row playing pretty good here in Asia. I'm just going to go out there and try to show my best.”
By: Falyn Page