2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko’s power game was in full flight in Dubai on Saturday night, as she defeated Veronika Kudermetova, 6-0, 6-4, to win the biggest hard-court title of her career at the WTA 500 event.

A former No. 5, she’s now projected to rise from No. 21 to No. 13 on the WTA rankings, her first time in the Top 15—or even the Top 20—since October 2018.

“It’s great. I think I played really well today,” she said. “In general I’m really happy with the whole week, because it was very tough opponents I had to face every round. I mean, I was fighting until the very last point—I was down match point against Petra.

“Every match was tough. I was just fighting—I had no other choice.”

After beating four Grand Slam champions in a row to reach the final—Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep—and battling back from a set down against the last three of those major winners, Ostapenko came out swinging against Kudermetova, storming through the first set in just 22 minutes amidst a flurry of winners from both wings, giving up a total of only eight points.

There was a quick momentum shift at the start of the second set—Kudermetova broke straight away and held for a 2-0 lead—but Ostapenko found her range again from there, winning six of the next eight games to close the match out in straight sets.

“I just went on the court very focused. I really wanted to win today,” said Ostapenko, who finished the match with 16 winners to 14 unforced errors.

“My mentality was good today, and I was playing well.”

Ostapenko spent 11 weeks at her career-high ranking of No. 5 in the world between March and June of 2018.

Ostapenko spent 11 weeks at her career-high ranking of No. 5 in the world between March and June of 2018.


Ostapenko now has five career WTA titles, including three at the WTA 500 level or higher on different surfaces—one Grand Slam title on clay (2017 Roland Garros), one WTA 500 on grass (2021 Eastbourne) and now one WTA 500 on hard (2022 Dubai).

Her other two came at WTA 250 hard-court events (2017 Seoul, 2019 Luxembourg).

Speaking of hard courts, Ostapenko’s win over Kudermetova was actually the 100th tour-level win of her career on hard courts (she’s now 100-85 on the surface).

It was also her 10th win of the year—she's now 10-3 in 2022. She's just the fifth woman to hit double-digit tour-level wins so far this year, after Australian Open champion Ashleigh Barty (11), Madison Keys (11), Halep (11) and Swiatek (10).

Ostapenko was a win away from a big piece of tournament history, too—shortly after the singles final, she and Kudermetova returned to the court for the doubles final, with Ostapenko partnering Lyudmyla Kichenok and Kudermetova partnering Elise Mertens. Kudermetova and Mertens ended up cruising to victory in 58 minutes, 6-1, 6-3.

Had Ostapenko won the doubles title too, she would have been the first woman to sweep both the singles and doubles titles in the 22-year history of the event.

Ostapenko and Kudermetova were actually just the third and fourth women ever to reach both finals in Dubai, after Sandrine Testud (2002) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (2004). Both Testud and Kuznetsova lost both finals.