4th seeded Maria SAKKARI of Greece took on unseeded former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia. Jelena’s career has gone off the boil a little bit since that amazing win at Roland Garros but she still has a few shots to admire. Let me get the ball rolling in this one and say the level of serving in general had been poor this week in the Czech Republic. In this match both served below 60% on first serve. It was down to who attacked both first and second serves with the same vigour and Jelena failed to do so. Maria won over 80% of her points on first serve.

No surprises Ostapenko neither broke Maria’s serve nor even got a break point off the Greek’s serve. Watch 1-1 first set 15-15. Jelena wasn’t bad at all on her serve, here a good first serve and followed by the audacious drop shot( Jelena ever the consumate clay courter). Turning point of the first set, with play going on serve at 3-3 both players trading fantastic shots up to then. Jelena going to the well one too many times with the drop shot there at break point. Maria is a quick player , covers so much ground.

The second set started badly for Ostapenko, broken very early. The Latvian’s shots on her serve weren’t bad but the second serve was too safe and shot for me. Watch first game of the second set 30-15. In the next game after that one, some terrific ground strokes from both players, SAKKARI getting herself out of trouble at 0-30 in particular with some good forehand shots.