Wimbledon 2018: Jelena Ostapenko overcomes slow start to defeat Aliaksandra Sasnovich

The Latvian was down a double break early and overcame a 5-2 deficit in the first set before rattling off nine of the last ten games to reach her second straight quarterfinal at the All-England Club.

Jelena Ostapenko
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Aliaksandra Sasnovich

"Manic Monday" at 2018 Wimbledon began with 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko rallying from a double break deficit twice to eliminate Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7-6 (4), 6-0 in the fourth round.

The Latvian trailed 3-0 and 5-4 before rattling off nine of the final ten games in the match to advance to her second straight quarterfinal at the All-England Club where she will face Dominika Cibulkova.

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Ostapenko escapes early trouble to take opening set

As has been the theme at this year's Championships, it was the underdog who made the brighter start, Ostapenko gifting the break with a forehand error and double fault to open the match.

After a quick hold to make it 2-0, Sasnovich was handed a chance for a second break, duly taken when she fired a forehand winner down the line for a quickfire 3-0 lead.

Ostapenko was able to pull one of the breaks back, but was soon in trouble again, staring down four break points. A combination of good serving and heavy hitting alleviated the pressure and the Latvian held.

It wasn't long before the world number 50 again would be presented with opportunities to break, building another 0-40 lead.

A backhand winner from Ostapenko erased the first chance, but a double fault handed Sasnovich a 5-2 double break lead.

As she is prone to do, the 2017 French Open champion is prone to running hot and cold and she heated up towards the end of the set, firing off eight straight points to trim the deficit to 5-4.

The Belarussian stepped up a second time to close out the opening set, but her serve was breached once more when Ostapenko blasted a backhand winner to level the score at 5-5.

Both players held serve to send the first set to a tiebreak. It was the Latvian who gained the upper hand early with another powerful forehand to take a 2-1 lead.

The lead was further stretched to 5-2 before Sasnovich made one last push, battling back to 5-4 before a double fault and wild backhand on set point handed a very up-and-down set to Ostapenko.

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Latvian serves up bagel to reach quarterfinals

The sting of dropping the opening set clearly affected Sasnovich and she was fighting from behind to begin the second set, trailing 0-40.

An Ostapenko backhand was just wide on the first break chance, but she was on the mark with from that wing on her second opportunity to take the early lead.

The Latvian again dug herself out of trouble on serve, this time winning three straight points from 15-30 down and further extended her lead when Sasnovich was well off target with a backhand, giving Ostapenko a 3-0 lead.

It was to get no better for the world number 50, another quick hold from the 12th seed made it five games on the trot and the Belarusian was quickly staring at the end of her fortnight.

If nothing else, Sasnovich wouldn't go down without a fight, saving four break points in the fifth game, but on the 16th point and fifth chance of the game she double-faulted, giving Ostapenko a chance to serve out a love set.

After dropping the first point of the game, the Latvian responded with some more strong serving and a final Sasnovich backhand error confirmed the 12th seed's place in the last eight for the second year running.

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Ostapenko post-match reaction

Speaking after the match about her slow start, the 2017 Roland Garros champion said: "I think the opponent played quite well in the beginning. I couldn't get used to the rhythm. But then slowly I got used to the rhythm, started to feel my game.

"I think at the end I finished really confident."

Yet to drop a set, she credits her grass court preparation at Eastbourne the week before the Championships began for getting her ready: "I just practiced really well before Eastbourne, then played Eastbourne and came here. I think my game suits grass pretty well."

She added: "I really enjoy time here, just looking forward to my next match."

She admitted the pressure of not having to defend a major title as she did in Paris, where Kateryna Kozlova beat her is also playing a factor in her run so far: "I had all that pressure at the French Open, now it's gone. Finally, it's gone. Now it's another tournament, another great opportunity for me.

"I'm just not afraid to miss. I'm just going for the shots. I think I'm serving very well this tournament. In general, I think my level is much better than the last Grand Slam."

Cibulkova has won both of their previous matchups, but she isn't going to be focused on anything but what she has to do to reach her first Wimbledon semifinal: "I played her couple of times. I kind of know how she plays. Just going to prepare well for the match.

"As I said, I'm going to try to focus more on my game, on myself, then I think anything can happen.

"She's also kind of aggressive player. She's moving very well. She has kind of good forehand, which I think for me her style kind of suits my game because I will feel the rhythm."