Jelena Ostapenko played and incredible tennis to became the first Latvian to win the first ever Grand Slam title in tennis history after beating the third seeded Simona Halep of Romania in three sets 4-6, 6-4, and 6-3 in the 2017 French Open women’s singles at Roland Garros.
At first, the Latvian struggled with Halep making a number of unforced error to give the opening set to her opponent. But in the second and third set, the young athlete began to show more power, courage and aggressiveness to celebrate and win the crown.
The 20-year-old Ostapenko came to this tournament as an unseeded player and found her way into the bracket that included a win against Caroline Wozniaki in the quarterfinals, Timea Bacsinszky in the semifinals and Halep in the final round.
The game lasted in just under two hours for Ostapenko to overpower the title favorite hitting 54 winners to nail the most surprising Grand Slam champion of all time.
According to the new champion, it was always her dream to win the title.
“I still can’t believe I won. It was always my dream, when I was a child I was watching players here. I’m just so happy. I’ve enjoyed it so much. I have no words.” Ostapenko told the packed crowd at Court Philippe Chatrier.
Ostapenko is the first unseeded women’s tennis player to reach the final stage in Paris since Mima jausovec, who finished runner-up in 1983 and lost to Chris Evert. While the last player to win their debut title at Roland Garros was Gustavo Kuerten on June, 1997, the day Jelena was born.
Right now, Ostapenko is ranked 12th in the world from her 47th ranking going to the French Open and called fearless by coaches and players as she won the tournament.
On the other end, Halep accepted the defeat and praised Ostapenko that she deserved to win as she was hitting very strong and showed a champion’s mentality.
Halep was back into her first Grand Slam final since 2014 after knocking the seeded No. 2 Karolina Pliskova at the French Open semi-final match.
The 25-year-old Romanian had the chance to claim the No.1 ranking in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) from Angelique Kerber but Halep failed to bring pride to her country.
A win would give her 7,550 ranking points to pass Kerber’s current total of 7,035.
Halep will now be ranked No.2 in the world with 6,850 points.
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Photo Credit: wtatennis
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