Jelena Ostapenko arrives in Upper Austria

Top seed Jelena Ostapenko has now also arrived safely in Upper Austria. The world number twelve from Latvia, who reached the doubles final at the Australian Open on Sunday, was welcomed with flowers by tournament director Sandra Reichel and tournament ambassador Barbara Schett on Wednesday afternoon. The 26-year-old has fond memories of Linz, despite her three-set final defeat to Coco Gauff (USA) in 2019. "I'm very happy to be back here. The people are so nice in Linz, everyone is so accommodating and takes great care of the players." The keen amateur baker, whose speciality is pot pies, as she revealed, is under no pressure: "I don't have any great expectations, I'm just looking forward to a good week," said Ostapenko. When she arrived, she was still a little tired from the journey, but quite relaxed.
While Ostapenko will not play in the tournament until Thursday (against Denmark's Clara Tauson), second seed Ekaterina Alexandrova is already through to the quarter-finals. Alexandrova prevailed 6:3, 6:0 against the German qualifier Jule Niemeier. Afterwards, the 2018 Linz finalist, who is playing in Upper Austria for the seventh time, declared her love for Upper Austria Ladies Linz: "I just love the city, I love this hall, just everything about this tournament - the crowd, the atmosphere, it's so cosy here, I enjoy my time here every year." Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 2015 Linz winner, also advanced to the quarter-finals with a 7:6, 6:4 win over Great Britain's Katie Boulter in the final centre court match of the evening.
Meanwhile, last year's winner Anastasia Potapova and Australian Open semi-finalist Dayana Yastremska overcame their first round hurdles on Wednesday. Potapova had to summon up all her skills against the Italian Sara Errani to reach the round of 16 with a 6:4 and 6:3 win. "Sara is a fighter, she fights for every point. I tried to do my best, it was tough, but I'm happy with the result. In any case, I'm happy to be back in Linz." Should she also win in Linz in 2024, she would again take a few days' holiday in Austria. "That was really nice last year, maybe we'll do it again."
The Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska, who sensationally reached the semi-finals as a qualifier in Melbourne, defeated Erika Andreeva 7:6, 6:3 and 6:2, after which she found plenty of time for the numerous Ukrainian fans in the hall. The world number 29 was still suffering from jet lag from her trip to Melbourne during the three-set match: "I just want to sleep, especially in the second set I was very tired. But Australia is over. It's nice to be in Linz now, I like Linz, the people here are very accommodating and treat us very well." Yastremska will face Donna Vekic from Croatia, the number three seed, in an eagerly awaited clash on Thursday.
In the last doubles match of the Admiral Day, Vienna's Sinja Kraus was once again able to enjoy the tennis atmosphere in Linz. Alongside Melanie Klaffner from Weyer, she challenged the US pairing of Alycia Parks and Asia Muhammad in the round of 16 thanks to a wild card. The Austrians were only able to keep up in phases in the first set (1:6). Klaffner and Kraus were much better in the second set, but despite leading 4:3, it was still not enough to win the set, which went to the Americans again 6:4. "It was a shame, we had our chances. We lost four deciding points in the first set in particular, it was closer than the score suggests," said Sinja Kraus. "I'm happy every time I get to play with 'Melli', it's great fun. We need matches like this at this level to improve."
Top-class guests of honour
The list of guests of honour was long at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz on Wednesday. Austria's Federal Minister Susanne Raab took part in the FE&MALE SPORTS CONFERENCE "Advantage Ladies", Markus Achleitner, Provincial Councillor for Economics and Sport, represented Upper Austria, and Deputy Mayor Karin Hoerzing from the City of Linz. From the LINZ AG sports family, the ice hockey cracks of the Steinbach Black Wings Linz were on site, some of the players demonstrated their ball skills at the LINZ AG stand and juggled Dunlop tennis balls with their ice hockey sticks.