Jelena Ostapenko captured her seventh career title, defeating No.15 Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2 in Saturday's Adelaide International final. The win is Ostapenko's fourth hard-court championship title and first since winning 2022 Dubai. 

On Monday, for the first time in over five years, Ostapenko will return to the Top 10. The 2017 Roland Garros champion was last ranked inside the Top 10 in September of 2018. 

"I mean, of course I had the game to be there," Ostapenko said. "I'm playing aggressive, and I feel like now some things are sticking back, and I feel like I'm playing more consistent and I'm more mature as a player.

"It's just the beginning of the year, but I will work harder to be back in Top 10 and Top 5 and stay there."

Ostapenko has enjoyed a solid start to the 2024 season. She opened her year by making the Brisbane quarterfinals and taking home the doubles title with Lyudmyla Kichenok. Seeded No.6 in Adelaide, Ostapenko came through a tough draw to defeat Sorana Cirstea, Caroline Garcia, Marta Kostyuk, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Kasatkina.

Going into the final, Ostapenko held a 5-2 advantage in the head-to-head series, but Kasatkina won their only previous hard-court meeting. That came more than six years ago in the third round of the US Open in 2017. 

The quicker courts of Adelaide have suited Kasatkina over the past two years, having been a finalist last year. This year she benefitted from back-to-back walkovers in the quarterfinals and semifinals after Laura Siegemund and No.2 seed Jessica Pegula withdrew ahead of their respective matches.

Ostapenko was tested early in the tournament, needing back-to-back three-set wins to beat Cirstea and Garcia. But since then, Ostapenko's aim has been precise and destructive. In an extreme contrast of styles, Ostapenko's baseline power overwhelmed Kasatkina's court craft and guile. 

Match notes: Ultimately, the difference came down to return efficiency. Ostapenko broke serve in every game in which she saw a break point, breaking Kasatkina's serve five times in the match. Though Kasatkina broke serve three times, she let Ostapenko off the hook in two key return games. 

From 2-2 in the first set, Ostapenko stopped a two-game run from Kasatkina to break for a 3-2 lead. She extended the lead to 5-2 before closing out the first set two games later with a perfectly feathered drop shot for her 16th winner. The patterns of play continued in the second set. With Kasatkina unable to keep the ball out of Ostapenko's strike zone, the Latvian eased through the set to seal the win after 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Ostapenko fired 32 winners to 27 unforced errors in the win. Kasatkina hit 12 winners to 13 unforced errors. 

Up next: Ostapenko and Kasatkina head to Melbourne for the Australian Open, which begins on Sunday. Both players will get their first round underway on Tuesday. Ostapenko will face Kimberly Birrell, while Kasatkina takes on Peyton Stearns.

Townsend treble: In doubles, Taylor Townsend and Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-3 to win the title.

Townsend has now won three Adelaide doubles titles in the last two years, all with different partners. Last year, Townsend won Adelaide 1 with Asia Muhammed and Adelaide 2 with Luisa Stefani.