Jelena Ostapenko: The shock French Open winner with a unique fashion sense

Latvian tennis player Jelena Ostapenko

Jelena Ostapenko will be Emma Raducanu’s opponent in the semi-finals of the Korea Open.

Raducanu reached the final four after defeating Magda Linette 6-2 6-2, claiming victory in Seoul in just one hour 16 minutes.

It is the first time the 19-year-old has won three matches in a row since triumphing at the US Open last year.

Ostapenko followed up with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-1 win against Victoria Kasintseva, setting up a first time meeting with Raducanu.

GiveMeSport Women delves into Ostapenko’s intriguing career so far.

Shock French Open winner

Ostapenko was born on June 8th 1997 in the Lativan capital of Riga. Her father was the former professional footballer Jevgēnijs Ostapenko.

She was introduced to tennis by her mother when she was five years old, idolising Serena Williams during her childhood.

Ostapenko was also a talented dancer, but decided to focus on tennis as she had “better results”.

It was clear the youngster would have a successful career as a tennis player when she won the junior title at Wimbledon in 2014.

Latvian tennis player Jelena Ostapenko
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 06: Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia celebrates with the trophy after winning the Girls’ Singles Final match against Kristina Schmiedlova of Slovakia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

She made her WTA Tour main-draw debut in September 2014, before competing at her first Grand Slam as a senior player at Wimbledon in 2015.

Ostapenko rose up the world rankings for the next couple of years, before winning her first Grand Slam title at the 2017 French Open.

Ranked 47th in the world, it would not be unfair to say Ostapenko’s victory came as a surprise. She became the first unseeded woman to win the French Open since 1933.

The 25-year-old has won five WTA Tour titles in total. Now ranked 19th in the world, Ostapenko was at a career-high of fifth in March 2018.

Latvian tennis player Jelena Ostapenko after winning the 2017 French Open
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 10: Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia speaks in a press conference following victory in the ladies singles final match against Simona Halep of Romania on day fourteen of the 2017 French Open at Roland Garros on June 10, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Controversial moments

Ostapenko’s career has not been short of controversies, in part due to her on-court behaviour.

The tennis star was playing Ajla Tomljanović in the third round at last year’s Wimbledon, calling for a medical timeout when she was trailing 4-0 in the final set.

The match was delayed by more than 10 minutes as Ostapenko received treatment, angering Tomljanović and resulting in an angry exchange at the net.

At the French Open earlier this year, Ostapenko covered her ears as she lost to Alizé Cornet in the second round, apparently displeased at the noise emanating from the Roland-Garros crowd.

She was then booed by the crowd at Wimbledon following her fourth-round defeat to Tatjana Maria. Ostapenko threw a water bottle at her chair before storming off Court One, later claiming her opponent had been “lucky” to win.

It wasn’t the first time Ostapenko had been critical of an opponent, with the Latvian raising eyebrows for her comments on Canada’s Rebecca Marino at the Birmingham Classic.

“The biggest opponent to me was myself because I played really well until 6-2, 5-1,” she said. “She didn’t really do anything. She didn’t change anything until that score, then I started to fight against myself.”

Latvian tennis player Jelena Ostapenko
MASON, OHIO – AUGUST 17: Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia plays a backhand during her match against Madison Keys of the United States during the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 17, 2022 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Unique fashion sense

It’s not just Ostapenko’s style of tennis which catches the eye. She is also known for the unique outfits she wears on court.

They are designed by Latvian brand DK ONE, which Ostapenko switched to after leaving Adidas in January.

Her recent outfits have featured ruffles, leopard print and chequered patterns.

She even flaunted the strict dress code at Wimbledon by wearing a white top with a cream-coloured skirt, although it is not thought she was penalised for this. As always, the outfit featured Ostapenko’s signature ruffles.

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