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After soaring in France, Ostapenko flies under radar at Wimbledon

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Ostapenko: Noise from box was disappointing (0:44)

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko won her 10th straight Grand Slam match to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time in her career. (0:44)

LONDON -- It is strange to think that in a Wimbledon women's singles draw that has looked wide open from the start, the French Open champion has been flying under the radar.

But Jelena Ostapenko, just a month after that bravura performance in Paris, has been very much in the background as she has gone for her shots at the All England Club.

When she beat Camila Giorgi 7-5, 7-5 on Friday, about one third of the Court No. 2 seats were empty and the backing among those there was louder for her opponent.

It was a far cry from the night Ostapenko flew back to Latvia from Roland Garros, when she was given the red-carpet treatment and greeted by around 300 adoring fans despite the late hour.

These things are relative, of course, and the 20-year-old, who was new to the limelight in France, said she feels she has received a lot of attention since.

But Ostapenko was some way off being the star of the show at Eastbourne last week, where she went out to Johanna Konta in the third round, and has played away from the centre stages here: on Courts 18 and 12 before the Giorgi match.

"Court 2 is a nice court with a lot of people," the world No. 13 said. "I enjoy playing there. Hopefully next match will be on a bigger court."

Maybe the dip in intensity was inevitable without a follow-up triumph, or perhaps the odds on a first-time slam winner repeating the success next time out were too long.

Another reason could be that Ostapenko's form has dipped, too. She certainly has not been playing with the same alluringly accurate style. Sure, she has been going for winners, as she did at Roland Garros, it is just that fewer of them are coming off.

Her first two opponents -- world No. 89 Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Francoise Abanda, who is ranked at No. 142 -- were not exactly big-ticket draws, either, but they both took her to three sets. In the process, Ostapenko has made 76 unforced errors to go with her 79 winners so far at Wimbledon.

Ostapenko's serve has looked a little wobbly, too, with 25 break points conceded. In fairness, she was unsettled on Friday when she couldn't block out Giorgi supporters in the crowd, who cheered her errors and appeared to try to put her off.

"Her box was quite loud," said Ostapenko in her post-match news conference. "That was a little bit disappointing because the court, the atmosphere here ... Everyone is very nice.

"It was just before my serve, somebody started to cough. I think it's a little bit unsportsmanlike ... the people who are in her team, they're probably very close to tennis. They probably have to understand how to behave during the points or before the serve."

In a way which either betrayed Ostapenko's age or her feisty approach -- Agnieszka Radwanska described her as "ballsy" to ESPN before Wimbledon -- the unwanted noise from the crowd seemed to fire her up, and she regularly turned to the area it was coming from when celebrating points.

It is asking a lot of a young player to keep complete focus and produce consistently brilliant form after her first major triumph, yet many experienced tennis watchers wondered aloud whether a successor to Serena Williams's throne had emerged at Roland Garros.

The challenge for the Latvian and her team is to convert what has mostly been latent talent. Making the second week of Wimbledon will help, but staying alive through Monday would be a more significant step forward.

Ostapenko will face Elina Svitolina, the No. 4 seed, in the next round, the highest ranked player she has faced since her surprise victory against Simona Halep in the French Open final. "Svitolina is a great player," said Ostapenko. "She's playing good this season. I know I will have to stay aggressive playing against her."

A win against the Ukrainian would add considerable credibility to pre-tournament talk of showing off her ballroom dancing skills at the Champions' Dinner.

Given she also says she should be known as Alona -- a Hebrew name that is said to mean oak tree, or strong as oak -- don't bet on Ostapenko being taken down easily.