Jelena Ostapenko – What You Need to Know
Jelena Ostapenko was born in June 8, 1997. At 20 years old, she has reached the biggest stage in her career in tennis. She has played in the 2017 French Open, for the women’s single final, winning her first opportunity to be in the finals for a Grand Slam tournament. She is also considered as among the younger tennis stars who quote Serena Williams as their idol.
One thing about Ostapenko is that sports run in her blood. Her father, Jevgenij Ostapenko served as a professional soccer player. Despite this, it was her mother, Jelena Jakovleva-Ostapenko who boosted her interest in sports. Her mother is a tennis coach, encouraging her to develop a deep love for this sport. It was the ambiance at home that probably sparked her interest in sports.
With this said, there was no doubt that her very first, ‘personal’ coach was her own mother. Her father also served as her personal fitness coach. During her professional career, she is coached by professional Spain player Anabel Medina Garrigues. Even though Garrigues never actually won at a Grand Slam Tournament, she won 11 titles in singles, and 20 titles in doubles. She won Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympics in Doubles.
Aside from tennis, Jelena Ostapenko is also fond of ballroom dancing. In fact, she danced starting when she was five years old, and until 12 years old, she was simultaneously enjoying both dancing and tennis. After that, she decided to focus more on tennis. Jelena also credited her skills in ballroom dancing to her success in becoming a good tennis player. The coordination required in dancing is essential in the sport.
With both parents as sports fanatics, it was quite surprising that both of them did not pressure her to pursue a career in tennis. During an interview in 2014, right after winning in Junior Wimbledon, Jelena Ostapenko stated that her parents never pushed her to playing tennis. It was her personal decision to do so because she loves the sport. In fact, her own mother noticed this desire and her talent even when she was still 3 years old.
When it comes to personal life, Jelena Ostapenko has a half-brother, Maksim Ostapenko. She explained that her brother currently resides in Los Angeles, after graduating from an Academy of Arts. As she turned 20 on June 8, only two days before the finals during the French Open, she became the very first athlete from Latvia to reach the finals for the French Open. She was ranked at 47 prior to January 2017, where she eventually reached rank 33.
This Grand Slam final is also her very first. In 2015, she was able to make it to the second round of Wimbledon. Earlier this year, she also reached the third round. Wherever tennis would take Jelena Ostapenko, fans would be assured that she is there because she loves what she is doing, not because somebody is pushing her to it.