Interview with Jelena Ostapenko

11 September 2014

The 17 year old bubbly youngster  Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia won the Junior Wimbledon crown this year , Playing  her second WTA event at the Tashkent Open and her first main draw as a wildcard, she spoke to Sunder Iyer of the Tashkent Open Media team  in her first ever interview as a WTA  Tour player


Welcome to the WTA Tour and Tashkent Open ?

Jelena :  Thank you I played the first WTA at the Kremlin Cup  2 years ago as a qualifier when I was  1 5 years old ,  This is the first time that I have got a wildcard into a  main draw in any WTA event  ,  I would like to thank the organisors for the wild card , I enjoyed playing here

What is the Difference you see  for yourself on the Tour ?

Jelen :  All players here are  experienced and don't  make silly mistake like junior players , they work hard for every point and don't give up easily , though I'm still a junior I will try and improve my rankings and play many more events and try to play at this level.

On her decision to stop playing junior events ?.

Jelena  : I'm 17 and can play in juniors next year too, but I set myself a goal  to win at least one Grand Slam event this year and  I achieved it  winning the Wimbledon junior championships. Now I will try and compete on the senior tour . Now I'm 407 with my first round win I will move to 335 and will concentrate to play more ITF events and try to get into WTA events

Have you set any aim for moving into the senior league ?

Jelena : Yes I need to improve , make less mistakes, Play confidently and aggressively

How do you manage your  tennis and education ?

Jelena :  I still have 2 more years to finish school , but I don't find it difficult to manage my tennis and education. At school I always finish my homework and  used to getting all my work done , even when I'm travelling. I always try and get good marks and I like school and attend whenever possible.

Don't you miss life as a teenager ?

Jelena : I know what I want . I want to be tennis player and other things don't matter.

On  her  hobbies.

Jelena : I  did ball room dancing with my tennis till I was 10  . I love dancing and still take lessons whenever I can . I also like listening to music and watching ICE hockey which is my second most favorite sports after tennis. I also like watching movies.  I also spend time with my pet Juliata a Yorkshire Terrier . I miss her when I travel , sometime I also take her to events I participate.

On her Parents contribution to her success and if there is any pressure from their side

Jelena : My Parents didn't ask me to play tennis , My father is also a footballer and My mother is a tennis coach and I always went with her to the courts. I started hitting against the wall when I was 3 years , that is when my mother noticed my talent . My parents have  never pushed me and asked me to do what I wanted , but I started liking tennis and started  playing , both spend a lot of time with me and I like being with them .

On winning the Junior Wimbledon?

Jelena : It was one of the best moment winning such an important trophy . I loved the grass courts and playing on Court No1 is unforgettable, people coming and wishing me all felt very nice. I will now improve in couple of years and will try and win the ladies trophy at Wimbledon someday.