BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Lucky loser Kristie Ahn of the United States pulled off a shocking upset in the first round of the Claro Open Colsanitas on Tuesday night, fending off two match points and fighting past No.1 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-5.
“It was a really tense match,” Ahn said, following her dramatic victory. “Obviously playing in altitude is really difficult for both of us, but I was just really happy to come out with the win and fight for every point.”
The 205th-ranked American came back from 6-2, 4-2 down to pull the match into a decisive third set, then evaded two match points near the conclusion of the clash to stun the 2017 French Open champion after two hours and 31 minutes of play, and pick up a victory in her first WTA main draw match of the season.
Ahn had lost in the final round of qualifying to Bibiane Schoofs before receiving a reprieve into the main draw after multiple withdrawals, but she came out on top today, winning 58 percent of points on Ostapenko’s second serve. Ostapenko out-winnered Ahn by 26 to 11, but the top seed also had 56 unforced errors, including a whopping 16 double faults.
Ahn will face a rising local star in the second round: 17-year-old Colombian wild card María Camila Osorio Serrano. The teenager dispatched Switzerland’s Conny Perrin in straight sets on Monday to earn her first-ever WTA main-draw match victory.
“Obviously she’s an incredible competitor,” Ahn said, when looking forward to her second-round encounter. “The Colombian girls play so well here, they know the courts better than anyone, and having the home crowd behind her — I think it will be a fun match.”