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Ostapenko adds Halep to her list of Grand Slam champions defeated, into Dubai final

It’s four Grand Slam champions in a row beaten by a former French Open winner

Jelena Ostapenko Jelena Ostapenko, LAT, during quarter-finals of 2022 Dubai Championships in Dubai, 17/02/2022 – *** Jelena Ostapenko, LAT, during quarter finals of 2022 Dubai Championships (Panoramic)

Jelena Ostapenko has beaten four Grand Slam champions in a row to reach the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.

Her latest victory was over Simona Halep in the semi-finals, coming through 2-6, 7-6(0), 6-0.

The 24-year-old beat two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(9); former Roland-Garros champion Iga Swiatek 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) in the round of 16; and former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in the round of 32, 6-1, 6-2.

Of course, Ostapenko herself is a former Grand Slam champion, having won Roland-Garros in 2017 as an unseeded outsider. In the final there, she beat Halep – again in three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Ostapenko finding consistency

Although currently slightly higher ranked than her opponent, the Latvian would have gone into this match marginally the underdog. Halep had not dropped a set so far during the week, securing straight-sets wins against Alison Riske, Elena-Gabriele Ruse and Ons Jabeur. More than that, she had reached the semi-final – or better – in four of her last five tournaments.

Ostapenko, though, is on quite fine form herself. She has reached the semi-finals or better in four of her last eight tournaments, including this one, and is set to return to the top 20 when the next rankings are released.

She will next play Veronika Kudermetova, who proceeded to the final via walkover after the withdrawal of Marketa Vondrousova due to an adductor injury.

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