Tennis-Ostapenko battles past Cristian in French Open first round

By Thomson Reuters May 26, 2024 | 9:15 AM

PARIS (Reuters) – Former champion and ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko overcame a rusty start in both sets to beat Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian 6-4 7-5 and reach the second round of the French Open on Sunday.

The Latvian, who claimed her one Grand Slam title in Paris in 2017, lost serve in the opening game and failed to force a break point until 3-2 down. Cristian held on to retain her two game advantage before Ostapenko bounced back in style.

Ostapenko won the next four games to take the first set, but it was the Romanian who broke first again in the second set and held a 3-2 lead but Ostapenko again came back and broke twice to go 5-3 up and with the chance of serving for the match.

Cristian wasn’t about to roll over, and although Ostapenko saved three break points, the 25-year-old Romanian, making her French Open debut, broke and then held serve to level the set at 5-5.

Ostapenko then served to love to put the pressure back on Cristian and the Latvian finished in style, breaking to love as the Romanian double faulted to exit the tournament.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes; Editing by Toby Chopra)