Jelena Ostapenko vs Jessica Pegula - WTA Qatar Open Round of 16
Wednesday March 3rd, 2021 / 8:45am EST
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Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia faces American Jessica Pegula in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Qatar Open WTA Event in Doha, Qatar. The match is scheduled to be played on Wednesday March 3rd, 2021 at 8:45am EST. They have played twice before in their careers, winning one match each. Who will win here and advance to the Quarter-Finals?
Jelena Ostapenko is a former French Open champion who has disappointed in recent years. Since winning that title in 2017 she has almost faded off the map completely, only winning one title since in 2019. Formerly touted as a future star, she has a big game but struggles mightily with unforced errors and her serve. Mental issues have plagued her on court in recent years and if she can ever get those figured out then she will be a forced to be reckoned with. Currently ranked #49, she was outstanding in her First Round win over a rusty Kiki Bertens, demolishing the fifth seed 6-0, 6-2. She served very well in that match and was hitting winners seemingly at will. Against a similarly attack-minded opponent here she will have to be at her best defensively if she is to advance.
Jessica Pegula is currently ranked a career high #44 and has had an outstanding start to her 2021 season. After reaching her maiden Grand Slam Quarter-Final at the Australian Open a couple weeks ago, she has continued that rich vein of form by coming through the Qualifying Rounds losing only one set. She then dispatched Qiang Wang easily in the First Round and is playing with the same swagger and confidence as she has been all year. While she is the slight underdog here, she has been playing the better tennis this year and knows that she has a good shot here.
Jelena Ostapenko is the big name in this match and many will expect her to win, but this match will be a lot closer than people expect. Pegula is not a household name but is playing some phenomenal tennis and I think she has what it takes to win here. I believe it will be close and three sets is likely, but bank on the American scraping through in the end.