Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Stanford grad Ahn stuns top seed Ostapenko in Bogota

Kristie Ahn, playing in the $60,000 Stockton (Calif.)
Challenger last October, saved two match points in her
2-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 win over Jelena Ostapenko on Tuesday.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Kristie Ahn, a 26-year-old Stanford graduate, scored the biggest victory of her career on Tuesday.
   The lucky loser from Englewood Cliffs, N.J., saved two match points in a 2-6 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory over top-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the first round of the Claro Open Colsanitas on clay in Bogota, Colombia.
   Ahn, ranked No. 205, trailed 3-0 and 4-2 in the second set of her first WTA main-draw match of the year.
   Ostapenko finished with 26 winners to Ahn's 11 but committed 56 unforced errors and 16 double faults. Ostapenko, who won the 2017 French Open two days after turning 20, has tumbled from a career-high No. 5 in March last year to No. 29.
   "It was a really tense match," the 5-foot-5 (1.68-meter) Ahn told reporters after the 2-hour, 31-minute battle at 8,660 feet (2,640 meters). "Obviously, playing in altitude is really difficult for both of us, but I was just really happy to come out with the win and fight for every point."
   Ahn is scheduled to face 17-year-old wild card Maria Camila Osorio Serrano of Colombia today. Osorio Serrano defeated Conny Perrin of Switzerland 6-4, 6-4 on Monday for her first WTA main-draw in.
   "Obviously, she's an incredible competitor," Ahn said. "The Colombian girls play so well here, they know the courts better than anyone, and having the home crowd behind her ... I think it will be a fun match."

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