Athlete Profile: Jelena Ostapenko
Weight: 150 lbs.
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia
Singles Ranking: 7
Coach: Jelena Jakovleva
Career Titles: 1
Known to her family and friends as Alona- an ethnic Ukrainian name, Jelena Ostapenko is a 20 year old tennis champion from Latvia. Known for her aggressive playing style and tendency to aim for the lines, Jelena recently emerged as one to watch in women’s tennis. In October 2017 she reached her best singles ranking at #7 in the WTA and peaked at world #32 in the WTA doubles ranking in June 2017. Jelena became the first Latvian player to win a grand slam tournament at the 2017 French Open where she won her first title and became the first unseeded player to win since 1993. Earlier in her career she won the junior singles event at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships where she made her pro debut and was ranked #2 junior tennis player in the world.
She first made her WTA tour main draw debut at the 2014 Tashkent Open where she was awarded the wild card and defeated the former world #11, Israeli Shahar Pe’er in straight sets. However, in the second round she lost to Russian Ksenia Pervak.
Her first tennis coach Jelena Jakovleva, who just so happens to be her mother and the person she’s named after, first introduced Alona to tennis at the age of 5. However, she also began dancing around that same age, winning the National Latvian Championship for Ballroom Dancing. Despite her love for dance, she grew up idolizing Serena Williams and at age 12 decided to devote her efforts fully to tennis. Her favorite shots are serve and backhand, and credits much of her coordination and skilled footwork to her years training as a ballroom dancer. Ostapenko speaks Latvian, Russian, and English. Watch out for this tennis powerhouse in the years to come, she’s on a winning streak.