French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko finished a disappointing WTA Finals on a high with a consolation straight sets victory over in-form Karolina Pliskova in Singapore on Thursday.
The Latvian easily won the White Group dead rubber encounter 6-3, 6-1 in 66 minutes to clinch her first ever victory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
With the pressure off, Ostapenko, 20, went for her shots, showing glimpses of brilliance rarely seen in Singapore after a breakout season. She hit 15 winners during an impressive first set and reeled off seven straight games to take a stranglehold of the match.
Ostapenko, growing in confidence, unleashed her powerful groundstrokes to dictate the rallies against an uninspired Pliskova. A break in the second set’s sixth game, her fifth of the match, and a subsequent hold wrapped up an impressive victory for the world number seven.
“I think it is great to finish the season this way,” Ostapenko said after the match. “Today I had nothing to lose as it was my last match here. I just tried to enjoy it as I really love to play here.”
It was her first win in three meetings against the third seed, who claimed the marathon three-set classic at the Australian Open this year.
Ostapenko was eliminated from her WTA Finals debut after a three-set defeat to Venus Williams on Tuesday.
Pliskova, who is in the running to finish world number one, had already locked up pole position from the White Group after losing just eight games across her opening two matches.
Lacking intensity, both players came out sluggishly in an error-riddled start. Pliskova’s reliable big serve was uncharacteristically erratic, with three early double faults, as she was broken three times in the first set.
Despite the loss, Pliskova is in the final four after failing in her WTA Finals debut last year.