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Six interesting facts about Jeļena Ostapenko

Siddharth Nair

At the start of the French Open, Jeļena Ostapenko was given a 100-1 chance to win the title, according to ESPN. But incredibly, she overcame the odds and recorded a memorable victory over Simona Halep to secure her maiden French Open title. But what do we know about the 20 year old?  So here are six interesting facts about Jeļena Ostapenko.

She used to be/still a ball room dancer

In her youth, Jeļena Ostapenko was extremely keen on pursuing a career in ball room dancing. She would constantly juggle her time between tennis and dancing, which eventually ended up being too much to handle. So she decided to focus on tennis, but still pursued dancing as a hobby. In fact, she even credits dancing with helping her fine tune some aspects of her tennis game.

“At home I try and go ballroom dancing four times a week,” Ostapenko says. “It really helps with the footwork on the court. My favourite dance is the Samba.”

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“I have the dress, the shoes — everything has to be matching. I go to a club and dance with the teacher there, he’s a professional dancer.”

She is the pride of Latvia

Ostapenko is the first Latvian woman to win a Grand Slam in the Open era. In a country which is not famous for its sporting achievements, Ostapenko is a symbol of pride and hope for everyone.

Her success will act as an inspiration for the youngsters, who consider Ostapenko an icon. Whenever she takes the court, Ostapenko realizes that she is representing her entire country and would never want to let them down.

Her childhood hero was Serena Williams

Ostapenko idolized Serena Williams while growing up. She would never miss a Serena match, and she would often get very emotional if the legendary American would lose.

Ostapenko’s dream is to one day play against Serena in a Grand Slam match. The way she is progressing in her career, that day may come sooner rather than later.

Her father is former football player player

Jelena Ostapenko’s father, Jevgenijs Ostapenko is a former football player who played in Ukraine.

He was also reported to be her fitness coach, but she denied any of these rumors.

As of last year, Jelena still lives with her parents and she is quite happy about that.

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“I enjoy that because my parents, they know me since I was born and they know me the best,” she told ASAP Sports. “So I’m really happy they can be with me all the time.”

Her mother used to be her coach

Jelena Ostapenko’s mother has had a huge influence in her daughter’s career. She was the one who pushed Jelena into the sport and took care of her game from the very start.

“When I was a kid I was with my mom always at the tennis club,” Ostapenko told “And she didn’t say that I have to play tennis, I just liked it. I went by myself to play against the wall, and that’s how I started.”

She is a former Wimbledon Junior champion

Jelena’s success on clay is all the more surprising given her preference for hard surfaces. In fact, clay is her least favourite surface.

Jelena has an aggressive game which makes her more threatening on hard surfaces, which was seen by her success in the Junior Wimbledon championships in 2014.

She had won the Junior Wimbledon title in 2014 and was ranked world number two in that year as well.

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