Thank you for following this incredible upset by Kateryna Kozlova in the 2018 French Open first round along here on VAVEL! This is Jakub Bobro saying "see you next time!"
"I didn't expect much from this match because I didn't know two and a half months ago if I could play in Paris. I was just trying to enjoy and show my tennis," said Kozlova in the on-court interview.
5-7 3-6: After an hour and 35 minutes. Kateryna Kozlova upset the defending champion and 5th seed Jelena Ostapenko against all odds in the undisputedly biggest win of her career. Kozlova's win came against all odds as the Ukranian had never gotten a win over a Top 30 player before, struggled with injury throughout the spring, and struggled with blisters on both of her feet throughout the match. The key to the win for Kozlova was definitely consistency that contrasted Ostapenko's poor performance on the day. The Latvian double faulted 13 times and produced 48 errors. Kozlova will be the outsider again in her second round match where she will face either Victoria Azarenka or Katerina Siniakova.
3-6: Ostapenko was serving to stay in the match and began this last gasp successfully. Kozlova followed up with a big forehand down-the-line winner after Ostapenko's second serve. The Latvian hit a forehand error and a backhand error, handing Kozlova her first two match points at 15-40. Ostapenko saved the first, but a backhand down-the-line only hit the net. Kozlova has pulled off the biggest upset of her career.
3-5: Kozlova continued to move very well despite being plagued by blisters, and after a set and a beautiful move into the net, the No. 66 was 30-0 up. A backhand error from Ostapenko had given her the opportunity for a clean game, but Kozlova double-faulted. After Kozlova miscalculated an inside-out forehand moonball, she remained unswayed and forced Ostapenko into a forehand error, keeping her break.
3-4: Ostapenko began the game with her 11th double fault and followed with a forehand error and was suddenly down 0-30. After a successful point and yet another double fault, Kozlova had two breakpoints at 15-40. Ostapenko got two first serves in and saved both break points. However, she was back down right away after a backhand error. It was followed by her third double fault of the game, and Kozlova was ahead again.
3-3: Kozlova continued with her consistent game while Ostapenko continued with her usual high-risk, high-reward game. At 30-30, Kozlova pulled out another of her signature drop shots to get the game point at 40-30. Her next point, the drop shot was too predictable and Ostapenko got it to deuce and then a breakpoint. Kozlova's defensive backhand was too long and the players were back even.
2-3: Kozlova was very active on return and Ostapenko really let herself down on her serve. The Ukranian breaks to win her third game in a row.
2-2: Kozlova produced some difficult serves and managed to keep herself a step ahead of Ostapenko in that game. The Ukranian won the game after 40-30.
2-1: A double fault cooled down Ostapenko's fire as Kozlova jumped away to a 0-30 lead. After a wide forehand, Ostapenko was 0-40 down on her serve and lost the break she just gained.
2-0: The No. 5 seed continued her impressive game from the opening game of the second set, and took a quick break from Kozlova.
1-0: Ostapenko began the second set with what seemed to be her simplest service game yet, winning it after 40-15.
On Other Courts: Second seed Alexander Zverev had a brilliant opening match against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-1 6-1 6-2 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Set 1: As in most Ostapenko matches, the Latvian dominated the match and controlled her destiny for the most part. Ostapenko's 17 winners to 29 unforced errors is not a recipe for success, especially combined with her suboptimal performance on serve. Kozlova kept consistency in her game and threw in some very successful drop shots. The Ukranian took out a Medical Time Out between the sets to receive treatment on blisters on both of her feet.
5-7: Kozlova controlled the first two points with a successful counterpunching game and jumped to 30-0, but Ostapenko got it back to 30-30 with huge baseline shot. With a brilliant slice serve, Kozlova got a set point at 40-30, and after a backhand error from Ostapenko, she takes the opening set.
5-6: After missing an easy backhand to open the game, Ostapenko bounced back with a consistent attacking game that bore fruit. The Latvian mistimed a cross-court backhand and got an unfortunate double fault that bounced off the tape. Kozlova had a break point at 30-40 that she failed to convert with a long slice backhand that floated beyond the baseline. Ostapenko got played with Kozlova's signature drop shot and after a huge forehand down-the-line, the Ukranian went up a break again.
5-5: Ostapenko began the game with her first drop shot but got caught out by Kozlova's own drop shot the next point. The 5th seed hammered down a backhand down-the-line winner and after an error from Kozlova, Ostapenko had two breakpoints at 15-40. Kozlova double-faulted, Ostapenko drew back to 5-5.
4-5: After beginning her game well, Ostapenko served back-to-back double faults. Kozlova took the opportunity and produced two break points at 15-40. After Ostapenko's backhand error, Kozlova broke back and will serve for the set.
4-4: Kozlova had a solid showing on serve but had a short dispute with the chair umpire over a mark and went on to lose the point and make the score 30-30. With consistent pressure, Ostapenko acquired a breakpoint after Kozlova's backhand error. The Latvian's backhand return went long and we were at deuce. Ostapenko had another unforced error and quickly ran to exchange the racquet for a new one. The prolonged break between points didn't help Kozlova as she failed to convert the game point. This time Ostapenko predicted Kozlova's drop shot and was able to to get a break point which she converted.
On Other Courts: Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan breezes past Magda Linette of Poland 6-3 6-1 on Court 7.
3-4: A double fault opened Ostapenko's service game at 2-4, and after Ostapenko followed it with another unforced error, Kozlova got a look at 0-30. The Latvian continued to struggle with her first serve, but after a Kozlova error and her third ace, the score was back at 30-30. Kozlova made her 7th unforced error, but Ostapenko followed up with back-to-back forehand errors, offering Kozlova a break point. Ostapenko got the score back to deuce after a brilliant rally. The game continued with aggressive points from both players, producing beautiful tennis. Kozlova got her third break point in the game with a forehand volley, but Ostapenko responded with an ace. The 5th seed is finding a bit more consistency in the game, producing longer rallies. After getting her first advantage in the game, Ostapenko sabotaged herself with a double fault. After a backhand return error from Kozlova, Ostapenko wins this long, and possibly pivotal, game.
2-4: Kozlova struggled to find her first serve struggled to find her serve, but Ostapenko failed to take advantage of her opportunities with backhand return error. After a missed lob, Ostapenko received a break point which she was unable to convert after a wonderfully-concealed drop shot from Kozlova. The Ukranian helped herself with a drop shot-volley combo to get the advantage and win the game after Ostapenko's 13th unforced error
On Other Courts: 20-year-old Viktoria Kuzmova succeeded in her French Open debut as she defeated the 37-year-old Francesca Schiavone 7-6(2) 7-6(2).
2-3: Ostapenko too began the game with an ace and followed with a forehand winner. The No. 5 seed had a shot at an easy service game at 40-0, but Kozlova fought back to 40-30. Ostapenko then ended the game with a cross-court forehand winner.
1-3: Kozlova began her second service game with an ace, but a double fault followed soon after. Giving Ostapenko a look at 15-30, the Ukranian responded with a big serve that produced a return error. Ostapenko got a breakpoint at 30-40, but her aggressive backhand return only reached the net. Kozlova came up with a very difficult forehand down-the-line at deuce, giving her the advantage and after another return error, the game.
On Other Courts: Yulia Putintseva upset the 22nd seed Johanna Konta 6-4 6-3 on Court 1
1-2: Kozlova has been aggressive on the return in this game and produced a beautiful forehand drop shot that managed to catch Ostapenko out. The 5th seed struggled to find her first serve and attempted to end the rallies too early. She found herself 15-40 and double-faulted to give Kozlova an early break.
1-1: Kozlova showed no signs of nerves as she kept playing with Ostapenko who produced only unforced errors. The Ukranian gets on the board with a clean game
1-0: The Latvian began the game with a double fault, and then followed a pattern of winner-unforced error until 30-40 when Kozlova produced her first unforced error from the return. Kozlova received another break point opportunity, but Ostapenko swatted it away with a backhand down-the-line winner. Ostapenko produced her first game point and ended the game with an ace.
The warm-up is over, Ostapenko to serve!
Jelena Ostapenko walks onto the court followed by Kateryna Kozlova, pictures with children are taken. Kozlova chose heads on the toss, won it, and chose to receive. The 5-minute warm-up will now take place.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Kateryna Kozlova is coming up next on Court Philippe Chatrier after 15th seed Lucas Pouille defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-2 6-3 6-4
In the second round, the winner of this match will play the winner of Katerina Siniakova and Victoria Azarenka, a difficult potential match for Ostapenko on her defending campaign.
World No. 66 Kateryna Kozlova will be Ostapenko's opponent. The 24-year-old Ukranian began her year in spectacular fashion by reaching her maiden final at the WTA International in Taipei City in January. Since losing the final, Kozlova has gone on a five-match losing streak, mostly due to an unspecified injury that she suffered in Acapulco. For Kozlova, this match will rival her previous matches against Venus Williams at Australian Open and U.S. Open for the biggest of her career, and the Ukranian has performed admirably in both. Another feather in Kozlova's hat will be her 2-0 head-to-head over Ostapenko.
The defending champion Jelena Ostapenko will begin her French Open campaign on the opening Sunday of the tournament. The fifth seed has gone 3-3 on clay this season with losses to Pliskova, Begu, and Sharapova. While it is not the impressive lead-up, Ostapenko's confidence seems always impenetrable so I fully expect her not to focus on what was behind her but the task in front of her.
Welcome to the live coverage of the 2018 French Open first round! My name is Jakub Bobro and I am happy to be bringing you game-by-game coverage of this 2018 French Open first round match between Jelena Ostapenko and Kateryna Kozlova here on VAVEL. From now on until the match begins approximately at 10:30 am ET, news and notes will be above to get you up to speed. Be sure to return once the match begins for game-by-game updates!