WTA Prague: Ana Konjuh defeats Jelena Ostapenko in three sets

Ana Konjuh defeated sixth seed Jelena Ostapenko 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 to book a place in the second round of the J&T Banka Prague Open.

Ostapenko struggles early, rallies to take first set

The opening set saw a quick start for Konjuh, as she broke Ostapenko on the Latvian's first service game, which saw the Croatian convert on her third break chance of the game to take a 2-0 lead. She was unable to sustain her advantage as Ostapenko immediately broke back after trailing 40-15 in the ensuing game. The next five games went to the server, the two combining to lose seven points on their first strikes.

Ostapenko was once again able to rally from 40-15 down, this time at 4-all to break Konjuh's serve, but serving for the set, she wobbled and Konjuh broke to 15 and the set was level again at 5-all. Another long game on Konjuh's serve saw Ostapenko convert her third break chance of the game to take a 6-5 lead and, for a second time, the Latvian served for the set. This time, she was able to close it out to 15 and the set was hers 7-5.

Jelena Ostapenko hits a backhand at the 2016 Australian Open/Getty Images
Jelena Ostapenko hits a backhand at the 2016 Australian Open/Getty Images

Konjuh rebounds to steamroll through the second set

Konjuh shook off her near-miss in the first set to plow through the second set. After losing only two points on her first two service games, the Croatian broke through on her lone break point of the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. At 5-2, Konjuh captured the Latvian's serve again, this time on her second break chance of the eighth game to close out a dominant second set 6-2. Konjuh lost just six points on her serve this set.

Konjuh blasts Ostapenko in the deciding set to reach second round

Konjuh defeated Ostapenko in San Antonio in straight sets just three weeks ago and now confident, she blitzed through the final set, winning the first five games. Ostapenko only won six points through the first four games before presenting a challenge on Konjuh's serve in the fifth game, setting up four break points, but couldn't convert on any of them. She would get on the board in the following game, finally holding serve for the first time since the sixth game of the second set, but by then, the outcome of the match was already decided. Konjuh stepped up to serve out the match and after another long game, she delivered, saving a break point along the way before she closed things out on her second match point to win the set 6-1 and progress to round two.

Hsieh next

Konjuh's second round opponent will be Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei. The two will be playing for the first time.