Jelena Ostapenko will return to Korea Open this season

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Jelena Ostapenko will return to Korea Open this season

The 2017 French Open women’s singles champion Jelena Ostapenko will play in Korea once again.

The organizers of the Korea Open, the lone WTA Tour stop in the country each fall, said Friday that Ostapenko will compete in Seoul for the third straight year. This year’s tournament will run from Sept. 14 to 22 at Olympic Park Tennis Center.

Ostapenko won the 2017 Korea Open, about three months after capturing her first Grand Slam singles title at the French Open. Those two remain Ostapenko’s only career victories on the tour.

The 22-year-old Latvian reached a career-high fifth in the world rankings in 2018 but has since dropped to No. 77.

Ostapenko hasn’t made it past the quarterfinals in any event this season. At the ongoing U.S. Open, Ostapenko lost in the third round to Korean-American Kristie Ahn in straight sets.

Ahn, world No. 141 who made it as far as the round of 16 at Flushing Meadows, will compete at the Korea Open for the first time in two years.

Maria Sakkari of Greece, world No. 29, and Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic, a quarterfinalist at this year’s Wimbledon, will also be in the field.

But world No. 7 Kiki Bertens, the 2018 Korea Open champion from the Netherlands, will not be defending her title this month. Eugenie Bouchard, a former No. 5 player from Canada, and 2011 U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur both pulled out at the last minute.

From the host country, world No. 162 Han Na-lae will play in the singles. Last year, Han teamed up with Choi Ji-hee to win the doubles title, becoming only the second Korean doubles team to win on the WTA Tour.

The qualifying matches will be held on Sept. 14 and 15, before the tournament begins in earnest on Sept. 16.

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