Ostapenko double faults out of Roland Garros


—-How unpredictable is the WTA?

Jelena Ostapenko has never won a match at Roland Garros other than 2017, when she won 7 matches and beat Simona Halep in the final.

In her first round 6-4, 7-6 (4) loss to Victoria Azarenka this year, Ostapenko double-faulted 17 times — more than once per game. Neither player could hold serve in the first 9 games, similar to Bianca Andreescu’s dismal second set vs. world number 118 Marie Bouzkova.

If I double fault once in a game against my friends in the high school parking lot, I’ll go for more topspin and safer targets on my first serve. But apparently nobody is teaching Ostapenko to do that. Or if they are, she isn’t listening.

I wouldn’t trade my second serve for Ostapenko’s 60 mph cream puffs. Her herky-jerky, pivoting serve motion was already evident when her screaming forehand and brash manner gained her the 2017 Roland Garros title. Somehow, a WTA player, now ranked 39th in the world at age 21, can make $8 million on tour (not including endorsements) without improving her second serve, probably the most important shot at the pro level.

This proves my point that parents and federations are better off investing money in girls than boys, because it’s a lot easier to get rich in the women’s game. You don’t even need a pro-level second serve.

(words and images copyright Christopher Johnson Globalite Media all rights reserved).