Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 20, 2024

Jelena Ostapenko – R1 Press Conference – 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

2023 Women's Singles Round 1: J. OSTAPENKO/Wang Xiyu 5-7, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Can you begin by describing your thoughts after the match.

JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, it was a very tough match. I miscounted the score. First time I think in my life (smiling).

It’s a good thing. I thought to continue the match, but it was over, so it’s good for me.

Yeah, it was a really tough match. She’s a great player, very talented. Especially lefty with a big serve. It was not easy with the wind today. I managed to win. That’s what matters.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your thoughts on making it back to the top 10 ranks.

JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, it’s just the start of the season. I mean, I worked really hard in the pre-season. I felt like last few years the game was kind of there, but not very consistent. Maybe like sometimes.

Now I’m just trying to play little bit maybe more aggressive. It sounds funny, but in deciding moments I feel like it is what I was not doing the right way last few years. I feel like now I’m doing it better.

Q. Is it a physical change that you made to the way you play the game or a mental state that you say you want to be more aggressive?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think it’s more mental because I could always, like, be aggressive and hit the ball hard. Sometimes I felt like, even it sounds funny, I was trying to play for sure in deciding moments, maybe make an opponent to miss the ball. That’s not really my game.

Even if I miss a few balls here and there, I feel like I need to stick to my aggressive game and do what I have to do.

Q. I remember last year you were here as the reigning champion. Must be nice to be back playing on center court.

JELENA OSTAPENKO: It’s always nice to play on center court. I honestly love to play on the big courts much more than on the small courts. I feel like that is what tennis players are there for, and general athletes.

I feel like playing on the side courts is a little bit not boring. Sometimes there’s two, three people watching. You’re like, Wow, yeah. You have to be consistent in top five to get to play on the big courts.

It was a very nice atmosphere on the court.

Q. In terms of your confidence, it must be the highest it’s been for a while?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, I mean, even like today I was not really playing my best game, but I was trying to find it and play every point. Even it didn’t go my way, just try to find my game. Not like just going through motions and miss even more.

Even today in very tough conditions I managed to win. I feel like that’s what helping to build the confidence.

Q. Do you look at the draw to see who you may face in the next rounds if you progress or…

JELENA OSTAPENKO: Of course, I see the draw. I just try to see every match against who I play. If I win, then I see against who I play after.

Not like, Oh, I have to play against her, against her, then against her. It’s not like this. You have to be ready for every match. All players are there to compete and to fight.

It’s never easy. Especially when you are in top 10, everybody wants to beat you. Everyone is ready to play against you. So you have to be even more careful and more prepared for every match.

Q. Your opponent today was making a debut in Dubai. You have played here many times. How do you see the event evolving, growing in recent years?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think it’s a great tournament. They treat us really good here. It’s one of my favorites cities, of course. I always came here for vacation. A little bit different (smiling).

I mean, also winning in 2022, I think I have great memories. It’s a pleasure for me to come here.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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