LONDON, Great Britain - Former World No.5 Jelena Ostapenko surged into the second week of Wimbledon for a second straight year, ending the dream run of Russian qualifier Vitalia Diatchenko, 6-0, 6-4.
Since being down set points to British wildcard Katy Dunne in the second set of her first round, the No.12 seed has gone from strength to strength, dismissing an in-form Kirsten Flipkens, who reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2013 - in straight sets and was equally emphatic against Diatchenko on Saturday, advancing after 62 minutes on court.
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A qualifier ranked as high as World No.71, Diatchenko caused one of the biggest upsets of the first round when she stunned 2004 champion and former World No.1 Maria Sharapova for her first-ever main draw win at the All England Club. The 27-year-old backed that up with a decisive victory over Mallorca Open semifinalist Sofia Kenin to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.
She began Saturday's match on relatively even footing with the Latvian, holding a break point in the first game and a game point after saving break points in the second, but couldn't convert either as Ostapenko rolled through the opening set without dropping a game.
The second set began in similar style as the Latvian edged through a pair of closely fought opening games, with Diatchenko earning warm applause from the No.3 Court crowd upon earning a long-awaited contribution to the scoreboard after nine games total.
Settling in on serve, she showed signs of a real fight back as she broke Ostapenko to love when it came time to serve for the match, but the No.12 seed stepped up on her second match point, gunning a backhand winner end the contest.
Famous for her French Open title, Ostapenko initial major breakthrough came at the All England Club back in 2015. A year removed from her junior triumph, she dropped just two games against Carla Suárez Navarro - then ranked World No.9 - in her Grand Slam main draw debut. She reached the quarterfinals in 2017, becoming the first maiden major champion to make it that far in her next Grand Slam appareance since Kim Clijsters in 2006.
Up next for Ostapenko is Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus. Sasnovich, who knocked out two-time champion Petra Kvitova in the first round, defeated No.26 seed Daria Gavrilova in the third round on Saturday, 6-3, 6-1, to advance to the second week of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career.