July 5, 2017 / 2:40 AM / 2 years ago

Ostapenko ready to ratchet up aggression

Tennis - Wimbledon - London, Britain - July 3, 2017 Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko celebrates during her first round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich REUTERS/Matthew Childs

LONDON (Reuters) - Having conquered the Paris clay with her wrecking-ball groundstrokes, Jelena Ostapenko plans to up the aggression further as she pursues her Wimbledon campaign.

The Latvian, who shook up women’s tennis when she won the title at Roland Garros last month, will wield her fearsome forehand against Canadian qualifier Francoise Abanda in the second round on Wednesday.

Ostapenko already equaled her best showing at the All England Club with a see-saw 6-0 1-6 6-3 first round win over Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich and is now looking to further refine her brutal game.

In Paris, she hit almost as many unforced errors (271) as cleanly hit winners (299) over the course of seven matches.

Those on the receiving end of those destructive groundstrokes might find it implausible, but Ostapenko says she will be taking the aggression levels up a notch as she looks to make further inroads on Wimbledon’s slick turf.

“Just maybe to stay more aggressive and serve and return better, because it’s very important on grass,” she said when asked what she needs to do to adapt her game from clay.

Abanda, ranked 142 in the world, booked her spot in the second round with a straight sets win over Kurumi Nara.

Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Alexander Smith

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