Unseeded Ostapenko stuns Halep

Ross Houston
June 15, 2017

"I still can not believe it, because it was my dream and now it came true", she said.

She trailed by a set and 3-0 but launched a memorable comeback with a remarkable display of fearless shotmaking.

As a 100-1 shot in just her eighth Grand Slam event, it's hard to remember a more unlikely champion than Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko. "It hurts a lot and I need time just to, I don't know, to go away". "I would be surprised if she came out and hit winners all over the court like she has been".

"I still can not believe I am the Roland Garros champion and I'm only 20".

President Raimonds Rejoins called to wish her luck after the semi-final, and a giant screen in Riga showed the final.

The 20-year-old Ostapenko hit 14 winners but made 23 unforced errors, while Halep made just two but only hit one victor.

In the absence of Serena Williams and Sharapova, Halep clearly felt her name was on this trophy. And also sometimes I was making too many unforced errors.


A gracious Simona Halep acknowledged she had been beaten by the better player after Jelena Ostapenko's stunning triumph in the women's French Open final. "I have to say a star is born", Evert, working as pundit for broadcaster Eurosport said. "I can not change anything, so I just have to look forward", said the Romanian.

Halep said she was deeply affected by nerves leading into the final.

- Halep broke unseeded Ostapenko's serve in the second game and consolidated with a hold in the third to take a 3-0 second-set lead.

"I did ballroom dancing as well as tennis and I had to choose between them but I preferred tennis and I think that is my sport!" she smiled. Jelena won this match, Simona did not lose it.

"I think I'm going to only understand in maybe couple of days or couple of weeks". And yes, she was trying to become the first woman in almost four decades to make a Grand Slam title the first tour-level triumph of her career.

Halep encountered her first tough fight in the tournament, against Elina Svitolina in their quarter-final when she trailed 1-5 in the second set. "It was a little bit of like emotional moment, but that's it".

"I think it was a good tournament. So I want to really hit the ball". "But I'm just going to try to work hard now and try to reach the high ranking".


Paris: Few other people saw it coming but Jelena Ostapenko's mother was not surprised that her daughter burst into the limelight to claim the French Open title in spectacular fashion on Saturday.

Halep then beat Karolina Pliskova, who would have replaced Kerber as the new number one had she made the final, for the fifth time in six meetings to set up an intriguing clash with unseeded Ostapenko. To play a final, it's an awesome thing. It's my goal, I think.

She didn't much care for the green stuff back when she was 15. We're going into grass season, where she'll be on even more solid ground. — Simona Halep's coach Darren Cahill, about Ostapenko. That also helped me. Her Roland Garros victory was worth more than US$2 million (S$2.7 million) in prize money.

"I have faith that eventually she will get over it".

"I know she's looking forward to getting home".

However, she admitted that when she came across a grass court for the first time, it was hardly love at first sight. "So she's going to be exhausted, it will be a good chance for her to recharge the batteries, spend some time at home and hopefully the Romanian people will get behind her". "It's so unbelievable to be here", said Ostapenko. "I was thinking about winning the title". She also was a much more focused competitor and more consistent ball striker. She's the first competitor - man or woman - to win make the French her first career title since Gustavo Kuerten accomplished that feat in 1997, the day Ostapenko was born.


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