On Thursday, the first racket of Latvian women’s tennis on the ninth court of the Tokyo Olympic Games held the second joint training with Anastasia Sevastova. Ostapenko’s mother and coach Jelena Yakovlev and Sevastova’s coach, as well as her husband Ronald Schmidt also took part in the training.
“It’s hard to judge the courts. The courts seem slow, but sometimes the ball slides off the racket, so we can’t fully understand what the courts are like,” Ostapenko said of the conditions in Tokyo.
“When playing aggressively, the balls are hard to hit, but in some moments, when the balls are already a little worn out, the game becomes slower. There are still a few days ahead, you may be able to understand more,” .
In Tokyo, the tennis player has already managed to practice on three different playing courts. They did not stand out from each other.
Ostapenko arrived in Tokyo on July 18, but two days later Sevastov also arrived from Austria. In order to prepare for the competition as qualitatively as possible, Ostapenko initially conducted training in Tokyo together with the head of the Latvian delegation Kārlis Lejnieks.
“Karl himself offered to play. Of course, I was very happy about this opportunity. It was a pleasant training,” said the 30th racket of the WTA ranking.
On Thursday, the Tokyo Olympic Games tennis lottery revealed that Ostapenko will meet with the Russian Olympic Committee (OKR) athlete Yelena Vesnin in the first round.
“The lottery is ‘okey’, but it’s all up to me. I think I’m in good shape and I also arrived in Tokyo on time,” Ostapenko is convinced of his abilities. “Hopefully everything will work out.”
It was already known to everyone that there was a big glow in Tokyo in July and August. The daily air temperature can exceed +35 Celsius. The heat is well tolerated by Ostapenko, but humidity is more difficult. The air feels “heavy”, making it harder to breathe.
In the Wimbledon tournament, which took place at the turn of June and July, Ostapenko suffered from an abdominal press muscle injury (sprain), which prevented him from performing quality and strong services. The injury has been healed, but care must still be taken.
“After Wimbledon, I rested for at least a week and did only physical training. Later I started training slowly, but I didn’t force it. I managed to recover, but I’m careful when serving. I did several exercises to strengthen my abdominal press muscles. .
Ostapenko this is the second Olympic Games. Like many, the tennis player enjoys the atmosphere.
“I was also surprised by the cardboard beds. I had never seen them before. In general, the atmosphere is very ‘cool’. All the athletes are together, everything is happening. The Latvian team is not big, but we are together, which is very pleasant,” Ostapenko shared.
On July 17, it was revealed that there would be two flag bearers in each country’s delegation to the Tokyo Olympics. One man and one woman. Initially, 3×3 basketball player Agnis Čavars was selected for this responsible job, but in the middle of July it became clear that Ostapenko would also bring the flag to the Olympic Stadium.
“I was very happy, because it has always been a dream for me and many other athletes. I was asked if I agreed to carry a flag. I answered – what’s the question,” said Ostapenko with a smile. “I am pleased to have that honor.”
The Olympic tennis tournament will start on July 24 and end on August 1.
The Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled for July 23 to August 8. Latvia will be represented by 14 athletes in 14 sports.
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