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Ostapenko Downs Alexandrova for Eighth Title in Linz

Jelena Ostapenko charged to her eighth career title. Photo credit: Upper Austria Ladies Linz Facebook

Second serves are terminal cases when Jelena Ostapenko is operating overwhelming returns.

Playing declarative first-strike tennis, Ostapenko powered to her second title of the season.

In a clash of former finalists, Ostapenko did not drop serve, sweeping second-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-3 to capture her eighth career title at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz today.

Ostapenko denied the only break point she faced and permitted just seven points on her second serve improving to 11-2 in 2024.

It’s the first time since 2017 Ostapenko has won multiple titles in the same season.

Seven years ago, Ostapenko defeated Simona Halep to win the 2017 Roland Garros championship and later that year won Seoul on hard courts.

The top seed’s triumphant run to Linz championship is her fifth hard-court title. Ostapenko leveled her career finals record at 8-8 and evened her head-to-head series with Alexandrova at 5-5.

Vicious Ostapenko returns can damage opponents’ serve patterns.

Ostapenko may be disrupting Alexandrova’s sleep patterns tonight too after terrorizing the second seed’s second serve.

Swinging with menacing intent, Ostapenko won 15 of 23 points played on Alexandrova’s second serve and converted three of seven break points to defeat the 29-year-old Russian for the third time in a row.

Last month, Ostapenko beat Alexandrova 6-2, 7-6(3) in the Adelaide semifinals before defeating Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2 in the Adelaide final.

Replicating the familiar grip-and-rip approach in today’s final, Ostapenko roared out to 4-1 leads in both sets.

The wild card converted her third set point breaking again to build a one-set lead.

Continuing to hammer away with depth and sudden changes of direction, Ostapenko saved a break point holding for a 2-1 second-set lead.

A series of snapping returns gave the top seed the break and a 3-1 lead.

A confident Ostapenko won eight of her next 11 serve points stretching her lead to 5-2.

Alexandrova saved two championship points, including pounding a forehand return to erase the second match point.

On her third championship point, the 26-year-old Latvian served out the title for her second straight 500-level title, pumping her fist to her support box in elation.