Jelena Ostapenko: If I played smarter outcome would be different

Former world No. 5 Jelena Ostapenko wasn’t happy at all with the way she started playing after taking a notable lead against Victoria Azarenka during their Indian Wells Masters semifinal clash. 

Ostapenko, seeded at No. 24, controlled the match as she was up by a set and a break but even that wasn’t enough for her to beat Azarenka and make the Indian Wells final. 

Azarenka, a former world No. 1, kept fighting and she escaped with a 3-6 6-3 7-5 comeback win over Ostapenko.

“It was like 6-3, 2-Love. I think I was rushing a little bit too much. If I was playing maybe a bit smarter, I could win this match in two sets. But then I started to play against myself a little bit,” Ostapenko said after the match, as quoted on WTA Insider. 

Ostapenko definitely had her chances 

Ostapenko blew an early first-set break but she broke Azarenka again in ths sixth game and served out for the opener in the ninth game. 

Ostapenko, who then took an early 2-0 second-set lead, lost the next five games as Azarenka took a 5-2 lead before serving out for the second set in the ninth game. 

Ostapenko recovered from an early third-set break but lost her serve once again in the 11th game as Azarenka served out for the match in the 12th game. 

“I thought the most important [thing], I would say today, was my fight, that I can be really proud of,” Azarenka said, in her post-match press conference. “Analyzing the game, it was a lot of probably things that I could have maybe done a little bit better.

“Overall she was playing really incredible in the first set, not giving me much to do. I was just trying to find opportunity, actually create opportunity, for me to get back into the match, to take a little bit more control in the match, really fight for every ball.”