September 2, 2017 / 7:55 PM / a year ago

Wasteful French Open champion Ostapenko out of U.S. Open

NEW YORK (Reuters) - French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko was knocked out of the U.S. Open third round, losing 6-3 6-2 to Russian Daria Kasaktina after hitting a massive 38 unforced errors on Saturday.

Sep 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia returns a shot to Daria Kasatkina of Russia on day six of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Latvian 12th seed, who broke into the limelight in June when she blasted her way to the Roland Garros title, got off to a fast start but the unseeded Kasaktina mixed her game with sliced backhands and chopped forehands to slow her opponent down.

Sep 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Daria Kasatkina of Russia returns a shot to Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia on day six of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The plan worked as after winning the first three games, Ostapenko grew frustrated and bowed out when she netted a backhand on the second match point at the end of a lung-busting rally.

Ostapenko complained of nausea and illness during the match.

“I was not feeling 100 per cent today, I was not feeling good already at the beginning of the day. I couldn’t give my 100 per cent today, like not my best,” she said.

Slideshow (2 Images)

It has been, however, a breakthrough year for the 20-year-old Ostapenko after she reached the third round at the Australian Open and the last eight at Wimbledon after lifting the Suzanne Lenglen Cup in Paris.

“In general, I think it was not bad. Of course, I expected to play better here, but unfortunately, couldn’t give my best today,” she said.

Kasaktina seized the opportunity and shook her early nerves to reach the last 16 of a grand slam for the first time.

“In the beginning I was a little bit nervous but I tried to stay focused and play my game and it paid off,” said Kasaktina, who faces Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi for a place in the quarter-finals.

Editing by Ed Osmond

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