Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday exited the Australian Open 2020 after losing in the second round of women’s singles event. Ostapenko lost to Swiss sixth seed Belinda Bencic, 5-7, 5-7.
She had beaten Liudmila Samsonova of Russia in the first round after deciding to play in the year’s first Grand Slam tournament following the sudden death of her father.
The former French Open champion had earlier pulled out of a tournament in Auckland having driven to the airport for the flight to the city by her father.
“My dad was always believing in me,” she was quoted as saying by the official Australian Open website before Thursday’s match. “I decided to play (in Melbourne) because I will be busy with something. If I stay home I think it’s gonna push me even more and will be even harder for me.”
Aryna Sabalenka and Amanda Anisiova are the other young starts participating at the event having lost their fathers recently.
“We actually spoke with Aryna Sabalenka about this, she shared some moments with me as well. It just happened to her a little bit earlier,” Ostapenko said. “When you expect it and you know that the person is not healthy or something, it’s another thing, you know it. But to lose such a close person I think it’s very hard.”