Ostapenko serves up another ace for Latvian sport

Tennis player Aļona Ostapenko became the latest sports star to contribute to an amazing year in Latvian sports with a stunning victory at the U.S. Open on Sunday that takes her into the quarter-finals of the tournament. 

Ostapenko defeated Polish world number one Iga Świątek in the fourth round of the U.S. Open, and for the first time in her career she will play in the quarter-finals of the season's final Grand Slam tournament in New York. 

Ostapenko earned a place in the last eight with a three-set victory: 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. In the match for a place in the semi-finals, her opponent will be the sixth-ranked home favorite Coco Gauff, who is sixth in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranking. Ostapenko is currently ranked 21st.

Ostapenko has never lost to Świątek and improved their head-to-head record to 4-0. Świątek won the tournament a year ago, but as she was unable to defend it successfully against the onslaught from Ostapenko's thrilling brand of tennis.

"I always expect a tough fight against Iga because she is a great tennis player who has won many Grand Slam tournaments and shows consistent performance," Ostapenko said after the win. "I knew I had to play aggressively and play my game, which she doesn't like. Until the last point, I thought I had to keep playing [my game]. I felt I played well and didn't give her many chances."

Aļona, winner of the French Open in 2017, has previously reached the third round three times in New York, but she played in the round of 16 for the first time.

For entering the quarter-finals, Ostapenko has already added 430 ranking points to her inventory, which guarantees her a significant rise in the rankings once the tournament is done.

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