DUBAI, UAE - Jennifer Brady led a successful morning for Americans at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday, as she won the last eight games to defeat Jelena Ostapenko in the first round, 6-4, 6-0.
A semifinalist at the Australian Open in doubles, the victory is Brady's second notable first-round singles upset in the past three weeks, after she took out No.2 seed Caroline Garcia at the Toyota Thailand Open presented by E@ in Hua Hin.
"I think I was pleased with the way, regardless of how I started the match, I was able to finish strong. I'm really happy with the way I did that," Brady said after the match.
"I think another thing that I did well was just looking for forehands, trying to hit as many forehands as possible, taking advantage of her second serve, which was weak. I was able to be aggressive and dictate off that."
With six breaks in the first seven games of the match, Brady needed to hold off an Ostapenko barrage on return as she led 3-1 and 4-2, after losing her first service game of the match.
Though the former French Open champion notched her first hold of serve for the set from 15-40 down in the eighth game to level at 4-4, it proved to be the last game she'd win of any kind in the match.
"It's really tough mentally because you have to really just stay in it. It could change in a matter of a few points. It could go your way or her way," the American added.
"I just really stayed engaged mentally, just trying to be as solid as possible. I think I was able to execute well."
Up next for Brady could be a rematch with Garcia, as the Frenchwoman takes on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova later on Monday.
"I've only played Garcia three times," she said. "I think it's going to be a tough match regardless of who I play."
Also moving through to the second round were Brady's compatriots Alison Riske, who she reached the final four in Melbourne doubles with, and Sofia Kenin.
Riske earned a 6-4, 7-5 upset of No.13 seed Julia Goerges, while Kenin surrendered just three games to progress over Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-3, 6-0.
Other morning winners included Ons Jabeur, who edged Donna Vekic, 6-4, 7-6(9), and Carla Suárez Navarro, who eased past Barbora Strycova, 6-1, 6-3.