Jelena Ostapenko stuns Simona Halep in French Open final

by Garry Watts June 11, 2017, 7:55
Jelena Ostapenko stuns Simona Halep in French Open final

Ostapenko recovered from a set and 3-0 down to reverse the momentum of the third seed who also played the 2014 Roland Garros final, losing to Maria Sharapova.

She is also just the second unseeded woman to win the French Open after Margaret Scriven in 1933, although her ranking will jump from 47 in the world to 12.

On the strength of an unrelentingly aggressive attack, hitting just about as many unforced errors as she did winners, Ostapenko ultimately wore down Halep, taking the second and third sets in thrilling fashion.

The 25-year-old Romanian, though, was optimistic that her own taste of grand-slam glory would come one day.

Halep only had 10 unforced errors, compared to 54 for Ostapenko, but the Latvian made up for that with 54 winners. She, too, was looking to win her first major but unlike Ostapenko is a household name and established at the top of the women's game.

She ended Roland Garros with 299 winners - more than any woman or man in the tournament. I played well. I think a little bit of luck in some points, all the lines, all the nets.

"She only has one game, either I can't touch it or it flies one metre out". So I want to really hit the ball (smiling).' About her popularity in Latvia, Ostapenko said: 'My match they were translating in the city center on big screen.

- Ostapenko came back from 1-3 down to draw level at 3-3 with a crucial hold of serve against Halep.

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"It's a tough day today because I couldn't win but let's work, let's keep working, let's believe", she said, before turning her attention to Ostapenko.

But it was far from easy for the unseeded 20-year-old, even with the Roland Garros crowd firmly on her side.

"Can she become a serial Grand Slam champion?" I think I can still improve my serve, my forehand.

"Of course, I would like to win probably all of the Grand Slams. I'm going to only understand that maybe in a couple of days or weeks", said Ostapenko.

Her new-found fame might add some pressure to her arm but it would be a shame if Ostapenko ever veered away from a style that is a breath of fresh air in a sport where waiting for errors rather than gambling on winners is drilled into juniors.

The deciding set was also very dramatic - Simona Halep, leading 3:1, lost five games in a row and parted with hopes of becoming champion of the tournament series Grand slam.

"This one hurts a lot maybe because I am more - I realise more what is happening", said Halep, who will return to second in the rankings.

"At the Australian Open she played very well but lost when 5-2 up". Osuigwe won the match 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.


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