World No.11 Jelena Ostapenko has her swagger back. But was it really ever gone?

The 26-year-old big-hitting Latvian already has two Hologic WTA Tour titles under her belt after cleaning up in Adelaide and Linz. With 14 wins, she trails only No.4 Elena Rybakina for the most wins on tour. It's been a fantastic return to form for one of game's enigmatic talents.

"I feel like I was winning matches, especially in 2017, by putting a lot of pressure on the opponent, like in the final of the French Open," Ostapenko said on the WTA Insider Podcast. "I was still playing my game. Of course, I can miss some balls. This is normal. I am not a robot. I can miss a few balls there, a few balls here.

"But the main thing is to put pressure by yourself. There are players, like Sabalenka, she's playing this very well. I think she found the right balance and that works good for her. I feel like our style is a little bit similar, so she's a good example of that."

Ostapenko joined the WTA Insider Podcast from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where she was a champion in 2022. She explains what's clicking in her game, her seemingly innate confidence, and recalls her nerve-wracking experience as she faced her idol Serena Williams for the first time.

"Sometimes when you respect someone too much, it can put pressure on you," Ostapenko said. "In Everett, when we played Fed Cup [in 2020], I was playing against Serena and she was always my idol. I lost to her 6-7, 6-7. I felt like I was playing really well. When it came to the tiebreak, in both sets, in my head I thought, 'Oh my god, I'm playing Serena.' She was always my idol. I felt this didn't help me to win. 

"She can be my idol, but when I play against her I have to forget these things and I just have to see her as a player."

To cap it all off, the conversation takes a detour into Ostapenko's fashion habits. From Dior and Chanel to Zara and American Eagle, Ostapenko is keen to rely on her instincts. 

"As long as you can mix the clothes in a nice way, and it looks good, it doesn't matter how much the clothes are. If you can put it together and it looks nice, that's what's important."

Listen to the full episode below:

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