Fearless Ostapenko 'amazed' by French Open triumph

Paola Ditto
Giugno 19, 2017

Jelena Ostapenko upset the form book as she defeated Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday to win the French Open and claim the first title of her career.

The 20-year-old had never been beyond the third round at a slam before arriving in Paris nor won a senior title.

Jelena Ostapenko: "I can not believe I am champion at 20 years old". But Ostapenko rallied, as she would against two much more experienced players - 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the fourth round and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals.

Ostapenko is the first Latvian to win a grand slam and her victory over Halep was broadcast on a big screen in Riga, the nation's capital. But again she levelled, and broke in the most spectacular style to win the match with her 54th victor, 6-3. But Halep is mainly a defensive player, and does a great job of it, but she didn't quite have the luxury of being unscarred by failure. Three years ago (when she lost to Maria Sharapova in the final) was something new, so now I know. "There are no words".

The last player to win their debut title at Roland-Garros was Gustavo Kuerten on June 8, 1997...

"I was losing 6-4, 3-0, and then in my mind I was just, I'm just going to enjoy the match, and I will try to fight until the last point", said Ostapenko, the first unseeded woman to win the title at the French Open since 1933.

Halep took charge again early in the final set, getting the break at 3-1 after taking some pace off the ball and drawing an error, but again Ostapenko came straight back. She has a strong personality which I like and she has a really aggressive style on court.

She ended Roland Garros with 299 winners - more than any woman or man in the tournament.

"I have faith that eventually she will get over it". "I was just trying to go for shots when I could and on match point".

With victories here over Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig, US Open victor Sam Stosur, former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, Timea Bacsinszky and Halep, Ostapenko is no fluker.

"I want to congratulate Jelena".

"She had the same energy when she was little, it was very hard", Jakovleva, who coaches her daughter, told a group of reporters at Roland Garros.

"Or if I miss 'okay, I have another one", she revealed. I think I can still improve my serve, my forehand.

Halep failed to climb atop the top place on WTA world rankings after suffering another defeat as she did in 2014. I will play a very young player.

"I think it was a good tournament".

Halep, who saved match point against Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals, had no response this time and Ostapenko sealed a breathtaking triumph with another break by hammering a backhand down the line.

"She has a lot of advantage because she knows most of the match depends on her side".

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